Thelma received her formal education from Nottoway County School System, receiving her diploma from Luther H. Foster “class of 1959”. As a cheerleader her classmate remember those days as she call out “hole that line” while cheering for their Bulldogs. As a teen she spent her summers in New York with family which she later would often tell stories of her fond memories of her time there, stories she would share for the rest of her life of her jumping double dutch rope and roller skating. She continued to learn and seek knowledge and attended The Southside Community College, taking classes in Business. At an early age she joined the Union Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Fitz, where she served on the usher board and later under the leadership of Pastor Horace L. Jones, as Event Coordinator.
Affectionately known by many as “T Gee”, she started her career in the building in which she had just graduated becoming secretary in July 1, 1967 for Luther H. Foster. As the county integrated, she would continue her employment in the role as a teacher’s aide at Crewe Primary school. With her passion still being that of secretary, Thelma would make a change and become a secretary in the office of the school board. With time she would later serve as secretary to the assistant principal, the principal, front office and then as an Administrator Office Assistant. On June 30, 2012 after more than 40 plus years of service, she retire from service as “secretary”.
Thelma’s great passion to serve as a missionary shined in many capacity with helping her family and friends, but mostly delivering fruit basket and as a member of Sister Unlimited Incorporated, which main objective was to give scholarship.
On December 18, 1959 Thelma was joined in holy matrimony to James Otis and to this union two children were born, Otis L. and Dawn F.
Left to cherish her son Otis “Lonnie” of Midlothian, VA, her daughter Dawn (John) of Mebane, NC and daughter in law Stephenia and three granddaughters Brooke, Jewel, and Jayden and one grandson Avery Otis. One sister Bertha Bland of Crewe, VA. One sister in law Doris L. Foster of Brooklyn, NY. Four brother in laws Robert Harris of Blackstone, VA, Lee Jennings of Crewe, VA, Morris “Junnie” Gallion (Ada) of Randallstown, MD, and James Rowe Sr., of Burkeville, VA. One niece Shirley and one nephew Arnold, who she helped to raise as her own children, along with a special niece Deborah. An aunt Nannie Jeter, a number of nieces, nephews, cousins and devoted friends. She had many friends during her career and life, but some of her lifelong friends of more than 40 years are namely Jean Hobbs, Flossie Moore, Bettie Farrow Reynolds, and Avon Stukes.
Family will visit with friends at the funeral home on Friday, June 22, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Funeral Services Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Pleasant Oak Baptist Church, 807 Pleasant Oak Rd., Victoria, VA 23974. Interment church cemetery.
W.E. Hawkes & Son Funeral Home of Blackstone in charge of arrangements.
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