Thelma Ruth Paden, 89, passed away on February 11, 2021 in Rockwall, Texas. She was born on September 14, 1931 in Johnson City, New York to Merle Ralph Tull and Ruth Eva Blair.
Thelma was a loving and devoted wife, mother, and a grandmother extraordinaire!
Thelma was a Trailblazer! Setting off from Johnson City, New York, with her husband, Edward; a Nursing Diploma and GI Bill in hand, they drove across the country to California, to seek their fortune, in 1951. Life was to be a Grand Adventure!!! The pace was fast and the bar set high. She loved her lifelong occupation as a surgical OR Nurse and Nurse Anesthetist, practicing her expertise in NY, CA, VA, and MS, AL, and Texas. Thelma loved to travel! For her, the experience of the journey was as important as the destination, as she embraced new sights, sounds, peoples, and culture. She loved to be behind the wheel: whether driving a U-Haul from NY to MS, making weekend trips from Orange to Houston, careening along the Autobahn, or speeding a Jaguar through the Swiss Alps with a friend. An accomplished private pilot, Thelma loved to soar among the clouds in her little blue and white Cessna. Thelma had a servant’s heart: exhibited by her 44 years in the nursing profession, serving her Lord and Church as a Sunday School Leader and Emmaus Walk Disciple, and finally, by her commitment to community, through Girl Scouts and Lutcher Theater activities. Thelma loved life and excitement! Her door was always open, and the table always set!!
Thelma is survived by her daughter, Deborah Ann Paden Cober; daughter, Jennifer Ann Paden; grandchildren, Christopher G. Smith and wife Lisa, and Jessica A. Nadeau and husband Stephen; great grandchildren, Samantha Ann Smith and Braeden Edward Smith; and brother, Richard Tull and wife Diane.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Edward Earl Paden; her beautiful daughter, Rebecca Ann Paden; and her parents.
A funeral service will be held for Thelma on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Tennison Memorial United Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant with a visitation being held an hour prior to the service, at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Bates-Cooper-Sloan Funeral Home in Mount Pleasant.
An online registry is available at batescoopersloanfuneralhome.com.