Richard, Thelma Jean (Wardrop) Shinn
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70, passed away on January 26, 2013 at the Hospice of Kitsap County in Bremerton, Washington. Thelma was the fourth child and only daughter born to Louis and Erma Wardrop of Flint Michigan. Her parents and her older brothers Garth and Keith (Doris) preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband Jon, her brother Pat (Betty) and her five children Ramona (Tony), Rebecca (David), Joe (Sara), Jim, and Rachel (Anthony). She was stepmother to Susan, Sharon, Ray (Kristin), Dawn, Scott, Kim, Deborah, and Marlin. She leaves eighteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. A loving wife and mother Thelma will be remembered by many as a brilliant professor, actress, and author with a larger than life personality to match her red hair. She attended Connecticut State College and Purdue University earning a doctorate in American Literature. She taught at the College of Our Lady of the Elms and Westfield Sate College in Massachusetts before coming to Arizona State University in 1975. Thelma was the founding director of the ASU Women's Studies Program and a professor of English until 2004. In 1987 she coordinated the ASU AIFS study program in London and she was also a Fulbright Lecturer in Spain and South Africa. Thelma was a nationally known lecturer and the author of three academic books as well as numerous articles for academic publications. A sometimes playwright, she frequently acted in Arizona and California community theater productions and she and was a delegate of Theater Education in South Africa. She loved to travel and explore and she found the perfect companion in her husband of nearly eighteen years, Jon Richard. Thelma and Jon (along with Pranser and Raven) had recently made Olalla, Washington their new home after having lived in California, South Africa, Texas, and Nevada. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, March 9 at the ASU Memorial Union from 11 am to 1:00.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 3, 2013