Thelma Matheny Cutler passed away in Juneau, Alaska August 25th, 2013 after a brief illness. She was born May 9, 1927 to Martha Matheny Wetherbee and Richard Wetherbee in Kootenai, Idaho at the home of her maternal grandparents, Nathan Pearl and Rose Matheny. She attended Sandpoint High school graduating with honors in 1945. She attended the University of Idaho where she was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She graduated in May 1949.
In July, 1949, Thelma married Newton W. Cutler in Sandpoint, Idaho. Thelma taught school in Genesee Idaho for three years before quitting to become a full-time mother and homemaker. They lived in Ephrata, Spokane and Olympia, Washington before moving to Juneau, Alaska in the spring of 1963.
Thelma taught French as a substitute teacher at Juneau Douglas High school. She served as the Director of the Division of Elections for the State of Alaska from 1968-1970 and was responsible for implementing the first computerized voter registration system for the State of Alaska. She worked with Newt for many years supporting his business, Newt Cutler Insurance until 1983 when she returned to work for the State in the Office of Management and Budget. She retired in 1990.
Thelma was an active member of the Alaskan Republican Party and served on the state central committee for a number of years. She was active in Girl Scouts during the years her three daughters were growing up in Juneau. She was also a member of the Alaskan Women in Timber. Newt and Thelma spent many hours aboard their classic yacht "Gadget" plying the Southeast Alaska waters with boating friends who referred to the "Gadget" as the mother ship of the fleet. Anyone who boated with Thelma was well acquainted with the phrase "Thelma water" referring to the conditions- flat calm- that Thelma most enjoyed. When not boating, Thelma enjoyed a good bridge game with friends and playing golf with Newt during their annual vacations in Hawaii. She also enjoyed watching basketball, football and golf on television, rooting on her favorite teams.
Thelma was predeceased by her husband Newt, in 1996. She is survived by her three daughters Alison Elgee (Doug Rickey) of Juneau, Andrea Moore (Jeff) of Kaufman, Texas, and Lauren Smith (Gregg) of Kona, Hawaii and her "adopted" daughter Carol Collins (Ray) of Juneau. She is also survived by her many grandchildren: James Elgee, Whitney and Megan Smith, and Jordan, Derek, John, Jack, David, Reagan, and Gator Moore and two great grandchildren, Jordan and Rainey Moore.
No services are planned. For those wishing to make a donation in memory of Thelma please do so to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Sept. 4, 2013