Thelma C. Waterhouse, age 88, of New Auburn, Wis., passed away Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at Meadowbrook in Chetek, Wis.
She was born at home on July 10, 1931, in the Town of Otter Creek, Wheeler, Wis., to Thorvald and Clara (Holte) Smith. Thelma was baptized Sept. 20, 1931, at Hay River Lutheran Church, attended the Little Otter Elementary School in the Town of Otter Creek, Wis., was confirmed in 1944 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Sand Creek, Wis., and was a 1949 graduate of Colfax High School.
She Married Norman A. Waterhouse on May 26, 1951, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Sand Creek. She picked lilacs for the wedding ceremony in the rain. It is said that rain on your wedding day is good luck. They were married for 60 years. Thelma worked at Shed Brown Calendar in Eau Claire in the early 50s, and also worked for local families helping to care for small children. She then worked at Core Products and Knapp Haven in Chetek. Norman and Thelma were dairy farmers for most of their married life. Thelma would help with haying by driving the tractor many times while Norman or her sons loaded the hay on the wagon.
She was a member of the WELCA and the Ladies Circles at New Hope. She held board positions in each over the years. She taught Sunday School and Bible School. She was a member of the New Hope Comforters (quilting group) for many years. She sang in the church choir and the New Auburn Community Choir for years. She was also a 4-H leader.
Thelma always had a garden where she grew produce for her family, and many beautiful flowers. She was an accomplished cake decorator/baker. She made wedding cakes for her sons and several others, countless birthday cakes for parents, children and grandchildren and graduation cakes for all of her children and grandchildren. She loved hymns, classic country music, game shows, crossword puzzles, sewing, knitting, crocheting and quilting. Many have the fruits of that labor.
She kept a daily diary for many years that she could always look back on if anyone wanted to know a past event. Thelma was a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers. Thelma and Norman enjoyed traveling the country with their good friends, Bob and Lillian Wendlandt. Thelma was the quiet strength of the family as the matriarch. She loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, her husband and her family with all her heart.
She is survived by three sons Allen (Beverly) Waterhouse, Randy (Renee) Waterhouse, all of New Auburn, and Dale (Jennifer) Waterhouse, of Loyal, Wis.; one daughter, Norma Waterhouse, of Lino Lakes, Minn.; one brother, Juel (Kathy) Smith, of Altoona; one sister: Leitha Swanson of Chippewa Falls; one sister-in-law, Bonnie (Gene) Peterson, of New Auburn; one brother-in-law: John (Ella) Waterhouse, of Chetek; grandchildren, Miranda (Scott) Jerdee, Gretchen (Lance) Liddell, Shannon (Aaron Oberweis) Waterhouse, Cassie (Jordan) Graesser, Denise Waterhouse, Jennifer (Andrew) Habeck, Nathan (Heather) Waterhouse, Josh (Steph) Whiting, Katie Whiting and Bryan Whiting; 11 great- grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends; and special friend, Lillian Wendlandt.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Thorvald and Clara; husband, Norman; grandson, Jason Daniels; brothers, Roger, Curtis, Alfred and Steve Smith; sister, Jeanette Schwab; sisters-in-law, Betty Smith, Janice Smith, Carol Smith, Leona Pagenkopf, Delilah Cramblit, Loraine Bergmeier, Charlotte Mutch and Anita Chase; brothers-in-law, Norman Schwab, Delmer Swanson, Herbert Waterhouse, Ervan Pagenkopf, Richard Reetz, Les Cramblit, Ernie Bergmeier, Ralph Mutch and Norman Chase.
Due to current restrictions, private graveside services will be held at Our Savior’s Cemetery in Sand Creek. Olson Funeral Home in Bloomer is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at olsonfuneralhomebloomer.com