As the dawn was breaking on Sunday, November 24th, Thelma Mae Hess, 88, went to be with her Lord and Savior. She died peacefully, surrounded by her family, at Hillcrest South in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Thelma was born in Houston, Texas, on December 17, 1930 to Samuel O. and Pearl A. (Work) Hartzell. Due to her father’s construction work, she moved often as a child and graduated high school at 15 years old. She took a few classes at Topeka High School until she was old enough to attend Washburn University where she met George Robert “Bob” Hess, who she married March 11, 1950.
She lived most of her life in Kansas City where she was a homemaker, until she began working in the bank they owned, First State Bank of Raytown. Her greatest contribution was to the churches she attended where she taught Sunday School, Bible studies, and Women’s Retreats for 40 years.
Thelma’s husband, Bob, preceded her in death April 4, 2014. She is survived by two daughters, Debra Stephens and her husband, Don, and Cynthia Kaneta, all of Tulsa. She is also survived by three grand-daughters, Kathryn Brito and her husband, D. J., of Dallas, Christy Kaneta of Dallas, and Laura Kaneta of Tulsa. Also, surviving are two sister-in-laws, Dolores Kirk and Lavon Hess, along with two brother-in-laws, Jim and Don Hess and multiple nieces and nephews.
Her service will be at Penwell-Gabel Cremations, Funerals, & Receptions, 1321 SW 10th Ave. in Topeka, Kansas on Wednesday, November 27, at 2:00 p.m. where the family will receive friends one hour prior to service time. She will be laid to rest beside her husband at Memorial Park Cemetery in Topeka. Memorial donations should be directed to The Jerusalem Prayer Team, P. O. Box 30000, Phoenix, AZ 85046.
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