Claremore Daily Progress


July 2, 2014

Thelma K. Minich

CLAREMORE — Mass of Christian Burial for Thelma K. Minich will be 10 a.m., Thursday, July 3, at St. Cecilia Catholic Church with Father Paul Eichhoff officiating.

Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery under the direction of MMS-Payne Funeral Home & Cremation Service. A prayer service will be held at the funeral home Wed. at 7 p.m. The family will greet friends Wed. at the funeral home from 6-7 p.m.

Thelma passed away in her Claremore home on the morning of June 28, 2014. She was surrounded by her children Barbara Buettner, Mark Minich, and Maggie Wolf.

Thelma is survived by her children Frank Minich and wife Pam of Gun Barrel City, Texas, Bill Minich of Williamsburg, Va., Barb Buettner and husband Ken of Edmond, Okla., Mark Minich and wife Debi of Colorado Springs, Colo.and Maggie Wolf of Sandy, Utah, siblings Florence Lindberg, Lee Karleskint, Dorothy Prassa, Agnes McFadden, Theresa Lang, and sister-in-law Rosemary Karleskint. She has nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Al, brother Alfred Karleskint and sister Rita Hill.

Born second in a family of 8 in Miami, Okla. in 1924, Thelma graduated from high school in Commerce, Okla. 1942, and then went on to graduate from the Miami Business School. She found work at an oilfield equipment company in Tulsa, where she lived with her sisters Florence and Dorothy Karleskint.

Thelma met her husband, Allen F. Minich, at a YWCA dance in Tulsa. They were married at the Holy Family Cathedral on Oct. 2, 1948. The couple had five children over the next 8 years.

Thelma and Al moved often in the 58 years of their marriage, and Al’s work as a corporate pilot often took him away from the home, leaving Thelma alone to manage the household and parent the children. By the accounts of all who knew her, she was up to the task.

In 1978, Al and Thelma retired to a fixer-upper home and acreage NE of Claremore. Besides improving the home, Thelma enjoyed growing and harvesting pecans, painting, reading, and sewing and embroidering projects for gifts and church fundraisers.

She was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, St. Cecilia Women’s Club, K.C. Auxiliary, and Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulchre.

Thelma was known by her children, her siblings, and her friends as at once warm and indomitable. After Al’s death in 2006, she lived alone for two years on their 57-acre Claremore pecan farm, during which time an ice storm left her without power or heat for three days. When she finally did move to a smaller home in Claremore, it was because she grew tired of watching friends and family worry about her and work to repair and maintain the property.

In the final eight years of her life, Thelma saw the country and the world on cruises and road trips with her children and with her younger sister, Dorothy. She helped the less fortunate by volunteering for Meals on Wheels, and continued to hone her skills as an expert at crossword puzzles and Scrabble games. She was on her way to mastering Sudoku.

She lived alone at her home unassisted until she developed late-stage lung cancer in early 2014. She was then cared for by her children, primarily by her daughters Barb and Maggie. Her quick wit, good spirits, and selfless nature were with her until the time of her death.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Cecilia Food Bank, 1304 N. Dorothy Ave., Claremore, OK   74017, or Catholic Charities, 2450 N. Harvard Ave., Tulsa, OK   74115.

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