My grandmother wasn't a traditional "chocolate chip cookie" grandma. I've never tasted a cookie or a cake baked in her oven. I've never eaten a meal at her house. She had difficulty talking about emotional subjects, yet I always knew she loved me. I'm sure losing her own mother when she was just 20 months old and being raised by her elderly grandmother had a lot to do with that. Grandma made my dress when I graduated from high school, she made me a quilt for my college dorm room, and she made me another quilt when I got married. That was how she showed her love.
Grandma was a bundler. She really bundled up when she left the house. I know it drove her crazy that her daughter and granddaughter walked around outdoors with their coats unbuttoned, their ears uncovered, no gloves and no scarves wrapped several times around their necks. Sorry, Grandma. She liked coats and purses with a multitude of pockets, spoon rings, birds, flowers, and she had a bit of a sweet tooth.
My grandmother never wore makeup, and she never colored her hair. She would get very offended if anyone ever hinted that she used hair dye. She was blessed with good hair genes. It was very thick and still probably 50% black. She never wore black or dark navy blue. Apparently, those were the major colors of her wardrobe as a child and she rebelled against them when she became an adult. She preferred pastels.
Grandma never had a lot of money, but she was always content. That's a good biblical lesson. She kept her hands busy and her mind active. She wrote poetry after she retired, and she loved game shows and puzzle books. Her active mind was sharp right up until the end. That's a comforting thought as I age.
She often said she prayed that the Lord would allow her to live long enough to see the turn of the century. After she surpassed that by many years, I started joking that the Lord must have thought she meant she wanted to live long enough to see herself turn a century! Well, she almost made it. She was 95-1/2.
Thelma Esther (Hoyt) Hall
Thelma Esther Hall, 95, passed away at the home of her daughter in Bessemer, Michigan on Tuesday, September 18, 2012. Thelma was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 21, 1917, to Cleo May (Dykes) and Clifford James Hoyt.
Thelma's mother died in the 1918 flu epidemic, and she lived in Cleveland until the age of seven when she moved to Brooklyn, Wisconsin to live with her paternal grandmother, Ellen (Devoll) Hoyt. Thelma married Charles Robert Hall in Rockford, Illinois on January 25, 1936 and they first settled in Brooklyn, Wisconsin, where she graduated from high school. Thelma and Charles moved to Fitchburg, Wisconsin in 1946 and to London, Wisconsin in 1955. She continued living in the small community of London near Cambridge until just over 3 years ago when she went to live with her daughter, Edith, in Bessemer, Michigan.
Thelma began working at the Cambridge Cleaners as a seamstress in 1960 and later worked at Schweiger's Furniture Co. in Jefferson sewing cushion covers for upholstered furniture. She next worked at Hamlin's in Lake Mills for 6 years, first in the electroplating room and then running a computer. By the time of her retirement, she was working as a keypunch operator for a business on the south side of Madison. Thelma always felt it was important to keep both her mind and hands active. She enjoyed game shows, puzzles of all kinds, writing poetry, embroidery, crocheting, knitting, sewing and quilting. She loved flowers and birds and was especially fascinated by the colors found in nature. She enjoyed traveling by Amtrak train, and visits to family gave her the opportunity to see much of the United States from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico. She was also a past secretary of the Women's Fellowship at the London Moravian Church.
Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Charles in 1983; her daughter, Martha Sorenson in 1994; and her son, Dr. Clifford Hall in 2008. She was also preceded in death by her three half-sisters, Geneva Schular (1987), Evelyn Reeder (2000) and Dorothy Couch (2012). Surviving are two daughters and one son, Edith (Randy) Jablonic, Bessemer, MI; Thelma Mae Hall, Calumet, MI; and Charles (Marie) Hall, Albuquerque, NM; many grandchildren and great grandchildren.