Thelma Marie (Campbell) Perry was born May 24, 1933 near Eckley Colorado to Cecil L and Mary E (Sherrill) Campbell. She departed this life on Monday, October 7th in Julesburg Colorado at the age of 80. She started school in Happy Ville and moved several times until 1945 when her family settled south of Otis where she attended high school at High Prairie and was a cheerleader. Her faith was very strong and very personal and she accepted Christ as her Savior at an early age. During that same time the family became involved in Peniel Church of the Nazarene and it was there they became acquainted with the Perry family. On August 28, 1950, at the age of 17, she became the wife of Rolland Perry. They moved to Nampa, ID so Rolland could attend college at Northwest Nazarene College. In 1951 they moved back to Colorado and Rolland began farming with his father. They lived just a mile from the Perry farm as well as the Peniel Church. In 1954 they moved and established their own farmstead at the General Store site of Dillingham, 18 miles south and 2 west of Otis. A new home was built in 1963 and this was where they raised their 3 children, Donnie LaVerne, Debra Kay and Jan Renee. Thelma was very involved in the farm and spent many hours driving tractors, combines, and trucks; not to mention the numerous trips to town for repairs and the many countless times she took meals and snacks to the field for Rolland and family. They also raised many hogs on the farm and she spent much time watching sows while they were farrowing as well as helping with the cattle they raised.|
She stayed very involved in Peniel and taught Sunday school, coordinated and taught Bible School, played the piano for many many years, hosted evangelists and missionary's in her home and helped with cleaning the church and mowing the weeds. Her faith was always very important and she and Rolland became involved in the Yuma Church of the Nazarene after Peniel closed.
At home she was a very involved mom; she always was at the door to welcome the school bus and had a snack ready while she asked about her children's day. In 1982 she completed her GED. During this time she worked in Otis at the NFO (National Farmers Organization) plant and did paper work for the shipping of hogs each week.
Her whole life changed when Rolland suddenly passed away in 1991. Don and his family moved back to farm and she continued to help him with the farming operation. She also spent much time with her granddaughters, Audra and Andrea, and they brought an abundance of joy to her lonely days. She enjoyed playing games with them and even could sometimes win by "forgetting the rules, or making up her own", which she always laughed about but denied. In 1996 she purchased a home in Yuma and moved next door to her sister, Virginia. She loved the time spent with her siblings, Melvin and Virginia, laughing and reminiscing and they honestly had great times together! She suffered a stroke in 1998 and worked hard to rehabilitate so she could return home. A broken hip in 2008 proved to be detrimental and she was no longer able to care for herself. God provided wonderful caregivers Aries and Ben Rodriguez to care for her in her home for the next 15 months. After hip replacement surgery and many complications, she was unable to return home and entered the Sedgwick County Nursing Home facility at Julesburg in September of 2010. She liked being close to Jan and Mike and especially enjoyed being close to Caleb. She never lost her fun loving touch to entertain her grandchildren, even when in the nursing home in a wheel chair. When Caleb would go see grandma and she needed to go somewhere in her wheelchair, he would sit on her lap and you could hear her singing "Daisy Daisy give me your answer true" as she went down the hall.
Each year she was able to make two or three trips to Idaho and always looked forward to time spent with Deb, Rob, Sam and Ryan. Even though they were separated by many miles she was able to be an important figure in her grandson's lives. For many summers, Sam and later on Ryan spent their summers with Grandpa and Grandma on the farm. She loved to have them come and cherished the time with them. Those are special memories that are still close to their hearts and frequently shared many years later.
Thelma was an encourager to those needing a word of encouragement. She was always willing to help a friend or neighbor and spent numerous hours talking on the phone to troubled friends and drove many miles taking neighbors to doctor appointments. She truly was a God send to those when they needed her assistance.
Thelma had many interests and through the years tried several different things. She tried her hand at sewing, quilting, crocheting, toll painting, china painting, and scroll sawing. She was an excellent cook and could whip up a meal on very short notice, although her specialties were noodles, chocolate rolls, fudge and crackers. She was full of wisdom and often proved so by sharing one liners such as; every dates a potential mate, Do your best and trust the rest, Life is not a dress rehearsal and what's the worst that could happen?
Mom had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. She was a prayer warrior for the family she loved so very much. Mom was a loving and caring mother and grandmother and will be greatly missed by her family, but they rejoice knowing she is with the Lord and has been reunited with so many who have gone before her.
Survivors include: son, Don and wife Janeil of Otis, Colorado; daughter Debbie and husband Rob Arnell of Eagle, Idaho; daughter Jan and husband Mike Benson of Julesburg, Colorado; grandchildren and great grandchildren, Sam Martin, wife Ami, Kole and Brekan of Star, Idaho; Audra Miller and husband Lee of fort Collins, Colorado; Andrea Perry Diesel and fiance Preston Otenberger of Colorado Springs, Colorado; yan Martin, wife Becky and Mason of Eagle, Idaho and Caleb Benson of Julesburg, Colorado eight step grandchildren and 9 step great grandchildren; sister, Virginia Nelson and husband Orville; brother Melvin Campbell and wife Phyllis; brother-in-laws Wayne Perry, Francis Perry and wife Coeta, sister-in-laws Marsolie Perry, Darlene Young and husband Birdsall, Delores Rudnik and husband John; 14 nephews and 13 nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband, Rolland; parents Cecil and Mary Campbell; mother and father-in-law Vivian and Eva Perry; baby brother Calvin; sister-in-laws Evelyn Crowfoot and Lorraine Perry; brother-in-laws Thayer Crowfoot, Gerald Perry and Marlyn Perry,
Funeral services were held on Friday, October 11th at the Yuma Church of the Nazarene. Officiating was Pastor Alan Harris. She was laid to rest beside her husband in the Yuma Cemetery with Baucke Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Published in Akron News-Reporter on Oct. 23, 2013