Thelma Lorene Tomlinson
Dec. 7, 1922 – Jan. 3, 2012
Thelma Lorene Bishop , 89, was born in Antioch, OK December 7, 1922, the 3rd child of
Hiram Stanley and Lola Effie Johnson Bishop. Thelma’s father died when she was three months old leaving a wife and three children. Thelma’s mother remarried, and over time 7 more children were added to the family. Of this large family 2 brothers survive, Bill Lemons, Cortez, and Ray Lemons, Canon City. Her parents and other siblings, Mancel, Lola Mae, Faye, Dale, June, Elizabeth and Don have all passed away. As a young child the family moved from Oklahoma to western Colorado where Thelma remained the rest of her life. In 1938 Thelma married Happy Draves in Nucla and had four children, Leona, Leroy, Linda and Danny. Happy was killed in 1954 leaving Thelma to raise the family and run their fledgling phone business. In 1958 Thelma married Norman Tomlinson in Nucla and started on an adventure that would last her the rest of her days. Added to Thelma’s four children were Norman’s two, Norman Jr, and Mike, and then three more boys, Mark, Brett and Kent. In time the older children moved away, Norman took over the phone company and Thelma settled into keeping the men in her life out of trouble and on the straight and narrow. Thelma was a charter member of Bethany 148 O.E.S and active for many years. She took up painting when she had the boys out of her hair, adorning walls in her two homes and her business with beautiful landscapes and florals. Many others have her work on their walls if they were lucky enough to wrangle a painting away from her. Thelma and Norman built a home in Mesa, AZ and spent the winter there for 30 years, coming home to Nucla to line out the kids and grandkids in the summer. In Arizona she enjoyed the community of retirees and playing golf, when she took a break from painting, that is. She spent 52 years with her loving husband, Norman, who left her in December 2010 to make sure everything was ready for their next meeting. Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, 7 siblings, stepson, Norman Jr., son Brett, and husband Norman. Thelma is survived by her children, Leona (David) Merrick, Corvalis, MT, Mike (Judy) Tomlinson, Aurora, CO, Connie Tomlinson, LaGrange, IL, Vikki (Don) O’Brien, Loa, UT, Danny Tomlinson, Grand Junction, CO, Roy (Ann) Draves, Mark (Kandis) Tomlinson, Kent (Kelly) Tomlinson, and Linda (Richard) Lemmon, Nucla, CO. She is also survived by 17 grandchildren, 25 grandchildren and 2 grandchildren. Services will be Saturday January 7, at Crippin Funeral Home Chapel in Montrose, at 2:00 pm, with graveside services to follow at Valley Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice. Arrangements are under the direction of Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory, Montrose, Colorado.