Thelma E. Studebaker, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in New Carlisle on Saturday, October 26th, 2019, at the age of 99. Thelma was born on December 10, 1919, in Pitsburg, Ohio to Verl and Mary (Niswonger) Wright. She attended Manchester College, Wittenberg University, and Wright State University and obtained her teaching degree. She was able to fulfill her dream of teaching first grade in New Carlisle, and did so for over 20 years. Thelma was a life-long member of her New Carlisle Church of the Brethren, and served many roles within the Church, including Children’s Director, Youth Counselor, and Deacon. She was an active member of her community, including her roles as a 4-H Director, an active member of Farm Bureau, a member of District Women’s Cabinet, a member of Tecumseh Council, a member of Ohio State Mother’s Club, a member of Optimist Breakfast Club, and a founding member of the Fidelis Club. Another one of her greatest joys was delivering Meals-On-Wheels to local community members for over 20 years. She was also crowned New Carlisle’s Bicentennial Queen in 2010. She later wrote and illustrated a book, “You Are Special, Because You Are Different,” that was inspired by her experiences with many of her first-graders as she helped them navigate through their first year of school. Thelma was best known for her ever-present smile and kind and compassionate spirit… and also for her amazing homemade pies! She loved to entertain at her home and cook her special meals for friends and family. She was truly happiest when she was hosting a meal and seated at her long table surrounded by those that she loved. Perhaps her most cherished role was as a loving wife to her beloved husband Gerald, married 59 years before his death in 1997. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Verl and Mary Wright, and sister Jean (Wright) Wagner. Thelma is survived by her sister Kay (Wright) Weherley of Greenville, son Bill (Megan) Studebaker of California, daughter Sue (Mike) Wilson of Dayton, grandson Shaun (Sarah) Hodges of Pennsylvania, granddaughters Tara (Patrick) Dwyer of Dayton, Nina (Felix) Shanahan of New Carlisle, and Shannon (Bryan) Snipes of Tipp City. She was also “great-grandma” to her adoring 9 great-grandchildren Kaitlyn, Matilyn, Kyle, Aidan, Vivian, Kara, Grace, Abbie, and Lauren. She is also survived by numerous other loving family members and cherished friends. There will be a “Celebration of Life” service followed by a reception for Thelma on Saturday, November 9th, from 2 – 4 pm at The New Carlisle Church of the Brethren, 219 N. Main Street in New Carlisle. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton or New Carlisle Church of the Brethren. Expressions of sympathy may be made at www.trostelchapman.com.
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