Baker City, Oregon
Thelma Maureen Schuessler, 91, of Baker City, died Sept. 20, 2001, of lung cancer at Ash Court Adult Foster Home.
Her graveside funeral was Monday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Gene Saunders of the Blue Mountain Foursquare Church officiated.
Mrs. Schuessler was born on July 25, 1910, at Stephenville, Texas. As a young girl she lived at Morgan Mill, Texas. She graduated from high school at Stephenville, Texas.
While in her 20s, she moved with her family to Orenco where she met and married Charles William Bower in 1936. They had two daughters, Collette and Charlene.
The couple returned to Morgan Mill in 1968. Mr. Bower died in 1978.
In 1986, at the age of 76, she met and married Norman Schuessler. He died in 1991 and she returned to Oregon. She moved to Baker City to be near her daughter and son-in-law, Charlene and Rick Whitmore.
Throughout her life, she loved her family and especially family picnics and dinners. At these times she was well-known and greatly appreciated for her fried chicken. “It was the best fried chicken ever and huge meals,” according to her family.
In 1967, tragedy struck the family with the death of her oldest daughter, Collette. It was especially at this time that she found comfort in what became known as her favorite Scripture, the 23rd Psalm.
Mrs. Schuessler worked off and on for Montgomery Ward. She was a skilled seamstress and used her ability to make clothes for her daughters and her granddaughters.
She enjoyed hunting rattlesnakes and saving their “buttons” (the end of the snake’s tail). She also took pleasure in visiting with her sisters, crocheting and making jelly, jams and preserves for her neighbors.
She and her husband, Charles, also toured in their camp trailer. In later years, she volunteered to work at the nursing home to help the “old folks” (as she was fond of saying), many of whom were younger than she was.
She was known for her compassion, her love of children, her strength and, at times, her orneriness.
By her pastor she was known for her dignity and her golden smile. She also enjoyed dispensing pearls of wisdom. She memorized little phrases to lighten a burden, to get a person thinking or to bring a smile.
Her commitment at church was vast and interdenominational. She spent more than 30 years at the Presbyterian Church, about 12 years in the Baptist Church, four years in the Lutheran Church, and another four years in the Christian Church where she was baptized in 1997. Finally, the last three years while her health allowed, she attended the Blue Mountain Foursquare Church.
Survivors include her sister, Tura May Lewis of Modesto, Calif.; her daughter and son-in-law, Charlene and Rick Whitmore of Baker City; two grandchildren, Sharmine and her husband, Tom Phelps, of Dublin, Texas, and Shanin and her husband, Frank Zednik, of Gresham; three great-grandchildren, Jeremy, Michael and Robyn Phelps; a niece, Ethel Goiburn; and nephews, Jess Davis Jr., and Jimmy and Jerry Gibbs.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Foursquare Church through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: The Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 7, 2001
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor