Thelma Mae Mills was born May 13, 1926 to Floyd and Clara (Bertness) Skelton on a farm south of Sioux Rapids. She joined four brothers and two sisters, one brother, Floyd, died before her birth. Thelma’s first school years were at Garfield Country School and then Cornell School. Her last two years of high school were at Greenville where she graduated with the class of 1943. One of her classmates was Charles Mills, and they rode the same school bus, often sitting together every day. Thelma was interested in secretarial work, so she attended a summer session at the American Institute of Business following her graduation. She then began working for Equitable Life Insurance Company in Des Moines. In the fall of 1945, Thelma returned home and began working at Clay County National bank in Spencer.
She and Charles were married on October 6, 1946 in the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, IA. Thelma continued to work in Spencer until the spring of 1947 when they were able to rent a farm west of Royal, which started their lifetime of farming. Their dream of owning their own farm came true in 1963. Thelma took pride in keeping the farm record books accurate. They moved to their long-term farm home northeast of Sioux Rapids and remained there until becoming residents of Riverview Terrace in the fall of 2013.
Charles and Thelma were blessed with five sons. She enjoyed gardening, reading, Women’s Fellowship at First United Church, their couples 500 card club and bridge club. Thelma was known for her excellent pies, especially her family’s favorite, lemon meringue.
Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Charles, five brothers, two sisters and one great-grandson.
She is survived by her five sons; Dennis (Karen) of Cedar Falls, Darrel (Cheri) of Winterset, Dale (Judy) of Nora Springs, Alan (Susan) of Sioux Rapids and Kevin (Sandra) of Algona, she is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.