HADLEY - Thelma (Press) Abramson, 83, died with grace and peace at the Elaine Center at Hadley on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. She had spent the day receiving friends and family who came to say their goodbyes and express their love and appreciation of her friendship, as she readied herself along her journey.
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Thelma was born Nov. 29, 1929, in Steubenville, Ohio, the daughter of Polish and Lithuanian immigrant grocery store owners. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at Ohio State University and a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Wayne State University.
She found her calling as an employment counselor, and later local office director for the state of Michigan during the era of the Comprehensive Employment Training Act program (CETA). Thelma had many successes in connecting employees and employers, often encouraging them to take risks with each other.
Thelma was married to Walt Mark Abramson for 59 years before his passing in 2010. Together they traveled extensively, both in the United States and abroad, and greatly enjoyed seeing the world. After retirement, they volunteered for the Red Cross, driving needed blood throughout the state of Ohio.
Together they moved to Hadley in 2007. After Walt's death, Thelma continued to thrive, building community and relationships wherever she went. Her counseling work also continued as she uplifted both the nursing home staff and other residents with her presence, encouragement and lifelong wry sense of humor. She was a warm, good friend to people of all ages.
She is survived by two daughters, Marcie Abramson Sclove and Ann Levin. Marcie lovingly and dedicatedly cared for Thelma until the end. Thelma was blessed to develop a deep relationship with her granddaughter, Lena Sclove who lived nearby during her last years. They spent much time together, sharing deeply through writing with each other, phone conversations and beautiful outings. Thelma also leaves three other beloved grandchildren, Aharon Freud, Julia Allal and Amy Levin, great-grandchildren, Noah and Sivan Freud and her brother, Pearson Press and his children and grandchildren. She will be carried in the hearts of many.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Feb. 13, 2013