Thelma Viola (Giger) Owen, age 94, passed away Monday, April 15, 2013 at Truman Healthcare Center where she had been a resident for the past 14 months.
Thelma, the second child of Grover and Theo (Riddle) Giger, was born September 25, 1918, near Irwin, Missouri. She was a life-long resident of that community.
Thelma and Ernest W. Owen were married on November 29, 1936, at the home of her parents. They had been married nearly 65 years at his death on November 15, 2001.
She was a homemaker and had been employed over twenty years as a seamstress making jeans and jackets for Big Smith Manufacturing Co., Lamar. Thelma enjoyed the outdoors, working in the garden and yard. She raised vegetables, "food for her body" and flowers, "food for her soul". Ernest and Thelma spent many hours working together in the timber, cutting wood and picking up walnuts, watching the deer and turkeys and feeding the birds.
Thelma was baptized as a teenager and for 75 years faithfully attended Irwin Community Church until her health began to fail. She served in many ways; as a member of the church board, a Sunday School teacher, a VBS teacher, and provided flowers from her garden. Thelma enjoyed studying the Bible, reading it through at least once, and often twice during the year. Her "calling" was letter writing. Many friends have been blessed and encouraged by her letters and her family cherish the ones they have received.
She is survived by her children, Wayne and Willa Owen, Lamar; Carolyn and Gary Fowler, Sheldon; Roy and Linda Owen, Lamar; Marjorie and Sam Crabtree, Liberal; grandchildren, Rhonda Hackathorne, Terri Chadd, Edeana Castlebury, Dana Evans, Deana LeGrand, Christy Fowler, Diana Cooper, Dana Schanot, Amy Shaw, Rebecca Baldwin, Nathan Crabtree and Paul Crabtree; twenty-eight great grandchildren and eighteen great-great grandchildren. Also surviving are two brothers and their wives, George and Nora Giger, El Dorado Springs, and Marion and Leila Giger, Lamar; a sister, Ethel White, Lamar, several nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to her parents and husband, Thelma was preceded in death by an infant son, Leslie Howard Owen; great grandson, Justin Archer; great-great grandchildren Kylie and Hayden Hudson, a brother, Clyde Giger, and two sisters, Virginia Giger and Wilma Rice.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday April 18, 2013 at Daniel Funeral Home Chapel where the family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00p.m. Thursday. Burial will be in Sheldon Cemetery.
Memorial contributions are suggested to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or Irwin Community Church.
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