Obituaries

Kenneth Thele

thelek.jpgKenneth Thele, 80, passed away on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Fir Lane Health and Rehabilitation surrounded by his family.  Ken was born Morris Kenneth Thele on August 6, 1931 to Walborg and Sverre Christian Thele in Berlin, New Hampshire.  Ken grew up in New York City living in all four burrows at one point of time. 

Ken joined the army on January 23, 1951 where he was stationed in Fukuoka Japan during the Korean War.  His honorable discharge date was December 24, 1953.  When he got out of the army he moved to Elma, Washington where his parents had moved to.  His father was the Methodist minister for the Elma, McCleary and Satsop Church.  He met his wife of 53 years in Elma.  Ken married Marlene Ardell Pehrsson on September 21, 1957.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a big party with family and friends in September of 2007. 

At age 16, Ken spent a summer in Norway where he first learned to play "The Bones". After retirement he played his bones in Karaoke bars and amazed many. His other hobbies were: string art, sports, photography, karaoke, playing poker, fishing and golfing.  He never missed a little league game and he was the coach for his daughter’s softball teams for many years.  Fishing was a great love of his all his life, starting as a child where he went fishing with his dad in upstate New York at Loon Lake.  Ken had a great love of Photography and had owned his own photography studio in Aberdeen (Flower Studio) during the early years of marriage.  He started working at the Washington State Corrections Center in January 1965 when it was first opened, working as a Correctional Officer for 25 years.  He retired from the state of Washington, Washington Corrections Center in 1988. He was also active in the Nimrod Club, Moose Lodge, Eagles Lodge and Historical Society. 

He was preceded in death by his sister Esther Kendall and her twin sister Gladys who died at birth.  Ken is survived by his wife, Marlene Thele; children, Richard Kenneth Thele, Cindy Lou Nuxoll and Vikki Sue Gigstead; sister, Shirley Richard; brother, Sigurd Thele; grandchildren, Thomas Paul Gigstead Jr., Melissa Marie Gigstead and Cadie Lou Nuxoll; great granddaughter, Rose Marie Gigstead and one more on the way which will be named after him.  

There will be a Celebration of Life at the Satsop Methodist Church at 2pm on Friday, September 9, 2011. The family request that in lieu of flower memorial donations be sent to the American Cancer Society.  On line condolences may be sent on www.mccombfh.com.  The family is being served by McComb Funeral Home

 

Tom Simmons

simmons.jpgIn Loving Memory of Tom Simmons who worked so tirelessly and so enthusiastically to innovate and support wonderful events on behalf of all downtown.

Joseph Thomas Simmons was born April 21, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan. When he was 2, the family moved to Kentucky, then to Missouri, and then to Kokomo, Indiana, near his grandparents. Tom remembered good times around the woodstove, carrying water to the house, and using an outdoor privy. Later the family moved to Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona, spending the summer in tents until his father, a carpenter and contractor, built a house in Phoenix. His sister married there, and Tom's brother and brother-in-law both enlisted to serve in World War II.

The Simmons family's last move was to Santa Ana, California. While he lived there, Tom's brother, Bob, gave him a book of Frank Lloyd Wright, kindling Tom's desire to learn more about architecture. He mowed lawns and worked in an aquatic park, saving his money to start his collection of books on Wright.
Tom was pleased when Disneyland was built nearby, and he celebrated a birthday with a ride on the teacups. Tom and his nephew, Terry, shared a birthday and developed a tradition of buying ice cream bars or a cake and distributing the treats to neighbors. Even this year, his wife recalls, he bought cupcakes and shared them with downtown merchants.

While he was still in California, Tom was drafted into the Army, and served at Fort Lewis. A journeyman carpenter, he was assigned to a facilities group of civilian contractors. His first big job was in Needles, California, building 10-hole outhouses. While working at Fort Lewis, Tom fell off roofs twice and was nicknamed "Twinkle Toes."
At a Christian Science Church service on the base, Tom met his wife, Marty. When his tour of duty was over, they were married. Tom attended Tacoma Community College, then the University of Washington, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in architecture.

Tom was licensed and practiced design for the Boeing Company. A guardhouse, a gymnasium, and several office buildings in Bellevue bear his design. His last big project was overseeing other architects on a 26-acre building at the north end of SeaTac Airport which houses spare parts for Boeing planes.

When Tom retired, he worked with Marty in their apparel and antiques business, using his skills to design interiors for their stores. He loved to garden with her, and the day before he died, he planted 12 flowers and five shrubs. He also took over much of the cooking at home, a learning situation for a man whose family insisted he once tried to mash potatoes before cooking them.

Tom was the moving force behind the Shelton Downtown Merchants, coming up with events and contests to help promote hometown businesses.

He will be greatly missed, and his shoes impossible to fill.

Shelton Downtown Merchants

 

Margaret P. Aldrich

aldrichmargaret.jpgMargaret Pauline Aldrich, 88, of Shelton, WA passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, August 27, 2011. Margaret was born on July 28, 1923 in Tacoma, WA to James S. and Ida (Nimrick) Crowell. She graduated from Kapowsin High School and attended Knapps Business College in Tacoma. In November of 1943, she married Ralph W. Aldrich.

Margaret worked nine years as a secretary for IWA Local 38 in Shelton and retired in 1982 as a medical claims examiner for the State of Washington, Disability Insurance Section in Olympia, WA. Margaret was an active member and secretary/treasurer of 15 years with the Mason County Widow and Widowers Support Group, a member of the American Dahlia Society, the North American Gladiolus Council, the Berrien, Michigan, Jefferson counties and Mason County Genealogical Societies, the Shelton Genealogy Study Group, the Mason County Senior Activities Association and the AFSCME Retiree Program. She was an avid flower gardener, particularly dahlias and won boxes of ribbons and horticulture trophies (21 of them) at the Mason County Fair. Margaret was a dedicated genealogist and compiled very thorough and organized family tree books for the members of her family. She loved birds, especially her talking myna, crows, cockatiels, turtle doves and pigeons.

She is survived by her son Ralph (Bonnie) Aldrich, Shelton; sisters, Naomi Swanson, Pocatello, ID, Betty Phillips, Aberdeen, WA, Carolyn Knivila, Pt. Orchard, WA, Nancy (Roger) Severn, Quilcene, WA, Darlene Reiter, St. Paul, MN; brothers, Robert (Claudette) Crowell, Brinnon, WA and Richard Crowell, Silverdale, WA; three grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, five great great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Ralph, infant son Ronald, grandson Wesley Aldrich and brothers Don and Jim “Bud” Crowell.

Viewing will be held at McComb Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 30 from 10 until 5 with service on Wednesday, September 30, 2011 at the Calvary Fellowship Church at 11:00 followed by burial at the Shelton Memorial Park. A reception will be held at Margaret’s home following the burial. The family was served by McComb Funeral Home.