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1927 Thelma 2022

Thelma Gillespie

July 8, 1927 — September 4, 2022

Lake Jackson, Texas

Thelma Jean Taylor Gillespie, 95 years young and former resident of Neodesha, Kansas, and Texas City, Texas, passed away on September 4, 2022, in Lake Jackson, Texas.

Thelma Jean was born the only child of Arthur Taylor & Lola (Dragoo) Taylor on July 8, 1927, in Neodesha, Kansas, and attended Neodesha schools. They moved to their family farm in Altoona when she was a young teen.  She always spoke of wonderful memories on the farm with her parents and grandparents.

On September 27, 1946, in Yates Center, she married Kenneth Leon Gillespie, whom she met on a blind date. They honeymooned at the Brown Hotel in Neodesha. They lived in Buffalo, and then Neodesha when Ken went to work for Standard Oil. They were blessed with 2 daughters, Tonya Lynette and Tina Renee and a son, Terry Lee.

In 1970, they were transferred to Texas City, Texas. In 1983 Kenneth passed away. Thelma remarried in 1990 to Joe Ellerd and they moved to Lake Jackson, Texas in 1999.  Joe passed away in 2012.

Thelma Jean was a very sweet, loving and angelic lady with a great love of God, family and friends. She had a smile and a laugh that simply made everyone around her feel a little better.  She had a hug for everyone and was always asking what she could do for you. God truly used her as a great example of how we should all treat each other. She loved shopping, chocolate, Chick-fil-A, old movies and high-heeled shoes.  Thelma loved to feel the sunshine on her face and spent many a time sitting on the porch in the hot summer heat. She also surprised many with her special talent of playing boogie-woogie music on the piano by ear.

Special thank you to Tracy Davis and all the wonderful staff and special friends at Sodalis/Elmcroft in Lake Jackson over the past 5 years. They all made her laugh and she enjoyed their visits and hugs each and every day.

Thelma Jean is preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, her daughter, Tonya Atherton, her son, Terry and great-grandchild Rose.

Left to cherish wonderful memories are her daughter and son-in-law, Tina (Jeff) Fattig, son-in-law Sam Atherton, grandchildren Amy Allen, Stacy (Jessica) Atherton, Casey (Victoria) Fattig, Shaun (Debra) Fattig and Brendan Fattig, and her great-grandchildren, whom she was known as “Gigi”: Grady, Harley, Crosby and Brantly Allen, Emma and Eli Atherton, John Paul Fattig and another one due in December.

Pallbearers will be her grandsons Stacy Atherton, Casey Fattig, Shaun Fattig, Brendan Fattig, and great-grandsons Grady Allen, Brantly Allen and Eli Atherton.

Visitation to be held on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at 10:00 am at Loran Fawcett Chapel, 704 Indiana Street, in Neodesha, and a Celebration of Life funeral service at 11:00 am. Interment will follow the service at Neodesha Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local food pantry or the SPCA. To leave a special message for the family please visit Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Loran Fawcett Chapel.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thelma Gillespie, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, September 17, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Loran Fawcett Chapel, Indiana Street, Neodesha


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Saturday, September 17, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Neodesha Cemetery, Kansas, Neodesha


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