Thelma Jean Hull, 72, a longtime Baker City resident, died July 9, 2008, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
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Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Internment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a luncheon afterward at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane. Visitations will be until 5 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Thelma was born on Feb. 3, 1936, at La Grande to Archie and Augusta Searles. Thelma moved to Baker City in the 1950s and worked at her father’s cafe. She eventually was introduced to Arthur Hull, a Baker City man who worked on a ranch.
Thelma was shy and was very reluctant to date Art, but eventually the two began a courtship that would last for nearly 37 years. Art and Thelma were married on Sept. 18, 1961. Thelma was primarily a stay-at-home mother eventually caring for six children she and Art had together.
Thelma did odd jobs such as baby-sitting, or cleaning relatives’ houses, or running errands, but her passion and one mission in life was to care for her family. Thelma loved all her children and bragged each one of them up to everyone she met.
When Arthur died in 1998, Thelma was left alone for the first time, after all the years of being with him, but she did not let that keep her down, her family said. Thelma became even more independent, taking care of herself and still finding time to help her kids, grandkids or friends in town who needed something.
One of many of Thelma’s proudest accomplishments was paying off the property she and Arthur bought together and paying off the car she bought by herself. For some people, these seem to be mundane tasks, but to Thelma, it was very important and a large goal of hers, her family said.
Even after her kids grew up and had kids of their own, Thelma was always concerned and worried and would always check on them. Thelma loved all of her grandkids as much as her own and never missed a play, concert, or graduation.
When going over to her house, Thelma made sure everyone left with food, toiletries, magazines, and toys for the kids. Thelma would show nearly every picture on the wall in her house of each kid and grandchild and tell the visitor everything about them.
In addition, anyone who came to her house had to pose for two or three pictures before leaving, her family said. One for the first picture, two in case the first one didn’t turn out, and three in case she cut off the person’s head.
Thelma was well known all over town because of her generous giving and honest caring she had for her friends and relatives, and for occasionally putting a letter to the editor in the paper. She started every day with TRADIO. Thelma loved tuning in every morning to occasionally sell an item, but mostly to call and wish people happy birthday, happy anniversaries, or to send get-well wishes.
Thelma had a big heart and there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for anyone she met, her family said.
Family members expressed appreciation to the people of Settler’s Park, St. Elizabeth Health Services, the state Department of Human Services program for Seniors and People with Disabilities, the Baker City fire and ambulance, Baker City Police and Baker County Sheriff’s Office for their help and support responding and caring for Thelma.
“We know she appreciated it and spoke highly of everyone at these places,” they said.
Survivors include her children, Arthur Jr., and his fiance, Jennie, of Baker City, Tracy Jean, and her husband, Jeff Whitey, of Coos Bay, Marvin and his wife, Debra, of Boise, Joseph and his wife, Sanae, of Tokyo, Japan, and Russell and his fiance’ Becky, of Baker City; daughter-in-law, Kathy Gryder of Baker City; sisters, Fern Homan of Union, Darlene Martin of Port Orchard, Eileen Holman of Portland, Joan Petry of Baker City, Robin Morin of La Grande and Venita Searles; grandchildren, Ryan, Aaron, Austin, Alyssa, Lily, Samantha, Tabatha, Rachel, Hannah and Heidi; great-grandchild, Alyssa Nolan; numerous nieces and nephews; and numerous friends throughout Baker County.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Archie and Augusta; her husband, Arthur Hull Sr.; daughter, Debbie Lynne; and brother, Bill Searles.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Marvin Hull, in care of Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR, 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 15, 2008
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor