On February 8, 2014, Jesus wrapped his arms around our sweet mother and "Mimi" and took her home to heaven with Him. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall, TX, with Father John Himes officiating. A time of visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at Downs Funeral Home in Marshall, TX.
Thelma made Marshall her home for 60 years before moving to Montana with her son, Ward. She was a three-year resident of Montana, and was currently residing in Billings Health and Rehabilitation Center. Her cremated remains will be returned to Marshall and interred in the Shrine of the Good Shepherd Mausoleum, Algoma Cemetery North, with her beloved spouse, Bill Shoemaker.
Thelma was born on September 17, 1932, in Titus County to Ora Mae (Yeager) Avery and Claude W. Avery. She was raised on a family farm. Thelma was the valedictorian of her graduating class of Winnsboro High School. Following high school graduation, she moved to Dallas, TX, to attend business school and worked in the insurance industry. On September 7, 1951, Thelma married the love of her life, Bill Shoemaker, in her parents' home.
After a 5-year relationship working with T.D. Rauschek Company in Marshall, Thelma became a fulltime homemaker and mother. Thelma and Bill raised their children in First Baptist Church of Marshall and were active members of that congregation. Following Bill's death, Thelma felt drawn to the Episcopal Church and became an active and engaged member of Trinity Episcopal Church Marshall.
Thelma enjoyed her activities with the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs and held positions of leadership in several different clubs, including the Ingleside Club of Marshall. She served two terms as Key District President from 1984-86 and 2000-2002. She also served as the Key District representative to the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs Historical Foundation from 1987-1989 and as Chairman of the TFWC Historical Commission from 1989-1991. Through her affiliation with TFWC, she made many friends around the state. Thelma also enjoyed the friendships she made through Bill's work as a Mason, Shriner and as a member of other Masonic bodies.
Thelma was preceded in death by her parents; her three brothers Charles, Albert and Milton Avery; and her beloved husband Bill.
Thelma was a caring and thoughtful wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She leaves behind to mourn her passing and celebrate her life, her daughter, Patrice [Jack] Frisby of Denton, TX; two sons, Ward W. Shoemaker of Roy, MT; and Billy Shoemaker of Colleyville, TX. Thelma is also survived by six grandchildren: Joseph Frisby, Kristen [Cody] Hoff; Allison [John-Michael] Clark; Emily [Aaron] Hullum, Brent Shoemaker, and Brooke Shoemaker along with five great-grandchildren. Additional survivors include nieces and nephews Rita Avery [Gene] Pickard; Lois Avery, Mike [Brenda] Avery; Carolyn [J.J.] Jangula; Nelwyn [Bill] Harris; and Larry [Paula] Shoemaker. She is also survived by other nieces and nephews, and several cousins and cousins-in-law.
Thelma requested in lieu of flowers that family and friends consider memorials to the Building Maintenance Fund at Trinity Episcopal Church, 106 North Grove Street, Marshall, TX 75670.
Downs Funeral Home903-927-1700