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Thelma Lorene AdamsThelma’s Story With our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Thelma Adams reached her final destination of a life well lived through her faith in His Grace on Thursday, August 19, 2021, at the age of 97. Thelma Lorene Herd was born on her parents’ farm in Pleasant Grove, Missouri, four miles west of Gainesville, on a snowy March 16, 1924. Thelma was the fourth of five children born to Creath Elliott Herd of Isabella, Missouri and Eva Maud (Honeycutt) Herd of Gainesville, Missouri. At age 14 Thelma accepted Jesus as her Savior, and was baptized by her grandpa Rev. D.A. Honeycutt. While still a teenager, Thelma got a job as a waitress at the St. John’s Drug Store in Gainesville, Missouri, serving fountain drinks and sandwiches. Thelma graduated from Ava High School in 1943. After high school, Thelma went to Fayetteville, Arkansas, crossing the White River in a paddle boat. She received her teacher’s certificate, and taught grades 1-8 in a one room schoolhouse in Marion County, Arkansas. Thelma then moved to St. Louis, Missouri during World War II to work for the Curtiss-Wright Corporation at Lambert Field where she was a riveter working on the wings of C-47 transport airplanes. After the war, Thelma moved to Springfield, Missouri and worked as a waitress at the Harvey House Restaurant in the Frisco Depot where she met Arthur Dean Adams who was working there as a chef. They married on November 24, 1945 in Harrison, Arkansas. They celebrated 57 years together until his death in 2003. While living in Springfield, Thelma and Dean owned and operated several neighborhood restaurants. Thelma was a member of the Rev. Hillhouse Gospel Singers featured Sundays on KWTO Radio in Springfield. Thelma attended the Springfield Beauty Academy, graduating in 1957. She joined the staff of the Glass Slipper Beauty Salon located in the Springfield Baptist Hospital and later became manager. In 1957 Thelma joined the Queen City Chapter #226 Order of the Eastern Star in Springfield, Missouri. In December 1961 she and her husband Dean returned to Christian County, establishing Adams Funeral Home, in Ozark. In 1966 Thelma and Dean were installed as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron of the Ozark Chapter #98 Order of the Eastern Star. In 1969 Thelma was commissioned District Deputy Grand Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star for the 54th District composed of Christian, Stone and Taney counties. Thelma maintained her membership with Ozark chapter #98 and continued her membership when it was incorporated into Crescent Chapter #21 Order of the Eastern Star, Springfield, Missouri. Thelma owned and operated Thelma’s Beauty shop in Ozark for many years. Thelma was the first official police dispatcher for the City of Ozark. In 1972 Thelma was President of the Christian County Republican Women’s Club and in 1976 she was a proud Reagan delegate at the Missouri Republican State Convention. In 1990 she authored The Kewpie Model, a book about the life of Esther (Harper) Green, who during her childhood was the inspiration and model for artist Rose O’Neill’s Kewpies. Thelma was a member of First Baptist Church Ozark and enjoyed fellowship with her church family. Thelma also enjoyed spending time with her friends at the Ozark Senior Center. In addition to her parents and husband Dean, she was also preceded in death by her sister, Saless Hartley; her brothers, Leroy, Cleo and Bernie Herd; a son, Terry Adams; and grandson-in-law, Mark Orr. She is survived by three children; Dean Adams and his wife Mary, Jeff Adams and his wife Andra, and Valerie Adams; grandchildren, Sarah Orr and her husband Bruce Galloway, Arthur Adams, and Jesse Adams; great grandchildren, Emily Walley and her husband Daniel, Mimi Orr, Ashley Adams and Amber Adams, all of Ozark; nieces; nephews; cousins; and many friends. Thelma was a devoted and loving Wife, Mom, Grandma, Nanaw and Granny. Her faith is now complete. Her hope is now fulfilled. Love never ends. It is comforting to know she is home. Funeral services will be 10:00 AM Monday, August 23, in Adams Funeral Home, Ozark, with Dr. Phillip Burden officiating. Burial will follow in Sparta Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church Ozark or charity of the donor’s choice.
Thelma was always the nicest person ever. I remember during the summers my grandmother would take me across the street to Thelma to get my hair cut. I always wondered, but was to shy to ask, why I was going to a funeral home for a hair cut. Funny looking back...but I was not amused by it back then. But Thelma was so kind..she was the best of the best. It was a real privilege to know her. I know heaven welcomed her with open arms. And we will meet with her again. Much love and many blessings is my prayers for all her family.
Vickie Green Aug 26 2021 12:00 AM
To all of you, so sorry to learn of Thelma's passing. No matter how long we are privileged to have our parents we are never ready to let them go. Your mom was a hard working woman and deserved all of the good things she ever had. Again, my sincere condolences.. Brian Simmons
Brian Simmons Aug 23 2021 12:00 AM
Dean, we are sorry to hear about your beloved mother. Harriet & John Morrison
Harriet Morrison Aug 22 2021 12:00 AM
Dean and Mary, I was saddened to hear about Thelma. I enjoyed working with her when she came to our office. Very much a true lady. And I was surprised to learn of all she had accomplished in her lifetime. Love and prayers to your family. Due to covid, I will not be at her service.
Tomi Doty Aug 21 2021 12:00 AM
I always considered Thelma my friend as she and Valerie always had my back. Even though she was a friend, I did not know all the things she did in life, and it was a life well lived! My condolences to her family and friends. Please hold the door open for me when its my time, Thelma! RIP; you have now seen the face of God and Im sure He said to you, Welcome, my good and faithful servant
Elaine Palmer Aug 21 2021 12:00 AM
I remember Thelma as such a sweet person. She was our family hair dresser for several years. She was always such a welcoming woman. A jewel!
Joan Sturm Aug 21 2021 12:00 AM
A candle was lit in memory of Thelma Adams
Joan Sturm Aug 21 2021 12:00 AM
What a wonderful and interesting life Thelma had. She was a wonderful neighbor to Mother and I will always remember her as a gracious and kind lady. In sympathy, Lou Ann (Johns) Stark
Lou Ann (Johns) Stark Aug 21 2021 12:00 AM
Thinking kind thoughts!
Hon Dr M Elise Crain Aug 21 2021 12:00 AM
With our deepest sympathies and much love. Shirley, James and Kim Blevins
Tribute Store Aug 20 2021 12:00 AM