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Thelma MillerOctober 1, 2017
Thelma Mae Miller, 88 years old of Harrington, Delaware, passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 1, 2017, at Delaware Hospice Center in Milford, Delaware, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on January 12, 1929, daughter of the late Irving D. and Florence Wells.
Thelma was a graduate of Allentown Bible Academy and College and Delaware State University. Thelma married Rev. William H. Miller on June 29, 1948, and the newlyweds accepted their first pastoral assignment in Quinby, Virginia, in July of 1948. Thelma worked by her husband’s side, lending her musical talents and love of children’s ministries. Following their assignment in Quinby, Thelma and her husband accepted a pastoral call in Gumboro, Delaware. In July 1952, the Miller family accepted a pastoral assignment at Calvary Wesleyan Church in Harrington, Delaware, where they remained until Rev. Miller’s retirement in 1995. The Miller family was firmly embedded in the community of Harrington.
Thelma began to volunteer as a teacher’s aide and music teacher in the Lake Forest School District. Her work ethic, talent, and love for children launched a new chapter for Thelma, as she returned as a full time student to Delaware State University to earn her teaching degree in Special Education and Elementary Education. She returned to the Lake Forest School District and enjoyed a teaching career that spanned more than 20 years.
After retirement, Thelma and Bill were typically seen side by side. Thelma and her husband filled several short-term pastoral assignments with the United Methodist Church in Delaware and Maryland. They also enjoyed many hobbies together including music, antique collecting and auctions, reading, and gardening. Thelma especially enjoyed her flower garden, which she lovingly referred to as her “prayer garden.” In Thelma’s last years, devoted friends demonstrated love by helping Thelma with flower acquisition and garden maintenance. Thelma, in turn, promised to remember each friend in her prayers while tending her beautiful flowers. Her garden friends frequently referred to the area as “Little Longwood.” Friends and family visited frequently and Thelma never failed to share her garden treasures.
Thelma loved the community of Harrington and remained active in the Harrington Century Club, the Harrington Senior Center, Bible Study Groups at Pilgrim Chapel, Bible Fellowship Church, Calvary Wesleyan Church, and the Harrington Senior Center. After her husband’s death in 2006, Thelma reached out to other widows and “single ladies.” This group became closely bonded friends who enjoyed gospel concerts, dining out, home-cooked meals in each other’s homes, and time around Thelma’s piano. These “Ladies of Leisure” checked on each other daily. Several assisted in her care prior to her Hospice Center admission.
Thelma’s pride and joy was her family. She was a proud and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and finally, great-great grandmother. When you visited Thelma’s house, you were also introduced to her most recent family photos. Thelma delighted in sharing her family’s accomplishments and stories.
Thelma is survived by two daughters, Carolyn J. Rash and Kathy M. Wetherhold; her son Jerry W. Miller; four grandchildren: Melody Mackert (Greg); Bill Rash; Jeff Wetherhold (Dr. Laura Maliszewski); and Jack Miller; six great-grandchildren: Alyssa Mills; Gavin Rash, Carley and Ty Mackert; Chase Rash; and Oren Wetherhold; and a great-great grandchild, Elijah Rash.
Thelma’s Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 7, 2017, at Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church Street, Milford, Delaware 19963. Rev. Earle Baker will officiate. Friends may visit one hour prior. The internment will follow at Barratt’s Chapel, 6486 Bay Road, Frederica, Delaware 19946.
Memorial donations may be made to Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, Delaware 19963.
Arrangements are by the Thomas E. Melvin & Son Funeral Home Inc., Harrington. Visit us at www.melvinfuneralhome.com to sign the online condolence book.