Thelma I Blacksone, BSN '80

February 13, 1944 - June 15, 2012 Age: 68

SALEM - Surrounded by family, Thelma Irene Blackstone went home to be with her Savior on June 15, 2012. Complications from her battle with Lewy Body Dementia took her from us far too soon at the age of 68. Thelma was born into a large Amish family on February 13, 1944, in Garnett, Kansas. She was the 12th of 15 children born to Levi and Mary Ann Stutzman. At age two, she moved with her family to Sheridan, Oregon. She attended Sheridan Public Schools until 11th grade when she transferred to Western Mennonite School, graduating in 1962. Two years later she married Roy Blackstone. They made their home in Salem and soon two daughters made the family complete. She was the kind of mother everyone wishes they could have. In 1973 they moved to a country home near Turner and returned to Salem in 2003. Thelma graduated from Chemeketa Community College in 1973 with an associate's degree in nursing and from OHSU in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. From 1973 until she retired, she worked at Salem Hospital. For a number of years she served as nurse manager at the Salem Hospital Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation unit. Always ready for fun and new adventures, Thelma's hobbies and activities are too numerous to list. Through the years they have included traveling, gardening, attending performances of all kinds, cooking, quilting, Scandinavian dancing, and book club. She had a great sense of humor and was always ready to perform funny skits and dress up in costumes. She volunteered in several places, including three years on the Western Mennonite School Board and ten years as an elder at Salem Mennonite Church. Her favorite place to volunteer since her daughters were children was Drift Creek Camp where she continued to serve regularly until a few years ago when she was physically unable to continue. She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers Ira, Amos, David, Floyd, and Nelson Stutzman; sister Fannie Mae Troyer; and son-in-law Loren Lynn Kropf. She is survived by Roy, her devoted husband of 48 years; daughters Diana Blackstone-Helt (Alan Helt) and Karen Kropf; grandchildren Mitchell Daily, Leesha Kropf, Cera Kropf, and Isaac Helt; brothers Clamens, Freeman (Tina) and Leon (Jean) Stutzman; sisters Nora Brubaker, Sue (Ernie) Gresham, Mary (Lyle) Hadley, Dottie (Elden) Stutzman, and Lorene (Victor) Smith. A memorial service is planned for Monday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. at Salem Mennonite Church.