HOWARD-How apt that Thelma Isabelle Stacey Sloan, born in Buffalo on June 1, 1920 died when the Curiosity Spacecraft was roving Mars on Monday (Feb. 16, 2015.)
She had always roved her world with a keenly curious intelligence, asking questions and “interviewing” everyone she met. She sought information for its own sake but also to solve problems. This practical intelligence was sharp in every job she took, from selling newspapers and cleaning houses in the Depression, to lifeguarding and waitressing to put herself through State Teachers College in Buffalo. After a feisty disagreement with her supervising teacher over unjust treatment in the final internship, she switched over to bookkeeping. Thelma worked for Skyes Furniture Company among others until landing a wonderful career position at the Gellman’s Conbow Corporation in Niagara Falls. For many decades she was office manager of this large national company, teaching adults, as well as college and high school student workers, who stayed in touch with her as their mentor to this day.
After retiring at 68, she enjoyed reading, swimming, helping others with their taxes, playing bridge, making jam, playing with her dogs and volunteering as a literacy coach. She was an active supporter of several churches in Grand Island and the Hornell area.
Thelma’s greatest personal happiness came from a loving fifty-seven year marriage to the now deceased World War II veteran, Walter Sloan. They so enjoyed competing in ballroom dance throughout New York State and Canada and always placed during the judging.
She is survived by her loving daughters, Judith McCallum, with whom she lived in Howard for thirteen years and Kathleen Jackson, as well as son-in-law, David Jackson of Los Angeles. Her McCallum grandchildren, Jordan and Corbett, live with their families in Ohio and Arizona respectively. Her Jackson grandchildren, Kelly and Morgan, live in the San Francisco area. Seven great-grandchildren will now carry on Thelma’s lively curiosity: Sofia McCallum in Arizona, Grant and Claire McCallum in Ohio; Greta, Griffin and Jonas Jackson and Sloane Ruby Jackson in California.
Thelma is remembered fondly as a storyteller and good neighbor by many friends wherever she lived in New York: Kenmore, Lewiston, Grand Island and Howard. She was treasured as the last living member of the Stacey birth family having outlived younger siblings, Thomas, Joyce and their partners. Her supportive niece, Elizabeth Keyes and Elizabeth’s son, John Keyes, were especially close to her; as were members of the Paul Haas family in the Buffalo area; her local physician, Dr. Nasar Chaudhry; Howard Helpers, Mindy Best, Maria Adam and Ashley Crans; and Father Brad Benson and Terry Bilancio of St. Thomas Church, Bath. Her family will always be grateful to the staff of Care First Hospice of Corning and that of McAuley Manor and the Home and Health Care Service of Hornell.
Thelma will be cremated and laid near her beloved Walter in Elmlawn Cemetery, Kenmore. Father Benson will officiate at the interment this summer with a celebratory lunch in her honor to follow. Please contact Judith McCallum for additional details.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in Hornell is honored to serve the family of Thelma I. Sloan. Online condolences or remembrances of Thelma are welcomed at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.
May she “enter into a place of still water.” (Wendell Berry, poet)