Thelma Persen, 98Thelma H. Persen, 98, Alexandria, formerly of Appleton, passed away on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at Douglas County Hospital from complications of a broken hip and pneumonia.
Thelma H. Persen, 98, Alexandria, formerly of Appleton, passed away on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at Douglas County Hospital from complications of a broken hip and pneumonia.
Thelma was born in 1911 to Arvid and Jennie Olson, the fourth of six children. The family lived in Artichoke Township surrounded by extended family with whom they worked and played. During high school she lived with families in Appleton, returning home on weekends. She graduated from Appleton High School and enrolled in Normal School where she and 20 other young women trained to become teachers.
Following teacher certification, she was employed in Artichoke Township, Ortonville and Woodbury Schools. She included in her curriculum the study of wildlife and plants, using the nearby fields and marshes as outdoor labs. She was employed in a munitions plant in California during World War II. She and her sisters Vera and Margaret formed an a cappella trio and sang at local events as well as broadcasting a weekly 15-minute radio program.
Thelma was united in marriage to Arden “Gussie” Persen in 1940. To this union two children were born, Kathryn and Glenn.
She was active in Bethel Church where she taught Sunday school, sang in the choir and worked with the Women’s Missionary Society. She enjoyed playing bridge, watching birds, flower gardening and traveling. She had lived at Prairie Senior Cottages in Alexandria since 2001.
Thelma is survived by her daughter, Kathryn (Persen) Tracy and husband, Thomas, of Maine; son, Glenn Persen of Alexandria; four grandchildren, John Tracy, Aaron Persen, Lindsay (Persen) Schlangen and husband, Jason, Paul Persen; two great-grandchildren, Devin and Cali; many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Arden; daughter-in-law, Margot (Wesner) Persen; and siblings, Geneva Thorpe, Ruth Jorgenson Koehntopp, Armond Olson, Vera Mork and Margaret Richardson.
A service will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.