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Recent Obituaries


Thelma May Leonard

January 17, 1931 – February 13, 2024

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Obituary For Thelma May Leonard

Thelma was born in Wem, Shropshire, England to Leonard Moulstone and Elsie May Moulstone (Dodd). Along with her siblings, Thomas (Len) and Joan, the family moved to Hillingdon, Middlesex (West London) where Leonard found employment as a hair barber.

In 1939, when the WWII broke out, the family was split when Thelma’s father was drafted and joined the British Army. Able women were put to work in the local factories building munitions to support the war efforts and family expenses. At any given time, there were frequent bombings over the London Area and civilians spent many hours in bomb shelters wearing gas masks. It later became common for children living in areas of continual bombing to be separated from their mothers and sent to live in the countryside or to relatives to live in safer parts of Great Britain. Thelma and her siblings were sent to Wem to live with their grandparents.

During Thelma’s youth, she rode her bicycle everywhere, was very athletic and loved to dance. Evenings were spent listening to the radio reading, or playing games and puzzles. Thelma also learned to knit from her mother and created lovely hand knitted baby and adult cardigans and hats.

After the war, Thelma completed school and went to work at Nestles packing the fancy chocolate boxes and foiled easter eggs. While working, she remembered being able to eat all the chocolate they wanted which didn’t take long to become “less appealing”. Thelma met her future husband, Derek Leonard, at a local dance at the Nestles Social Club in Hayes. Due to the post war shortage of cars and petrol, Derek became a huge motorbike enthusiast and introduced Thelma to this popular mode of transportation. Thelma sported a leather helmet and they often rode out to the coast with groups of friends for the day. They married on August 11, 1951, at St. John the Baptist Church, Hillingdon, Middlesex and rode off on their motorbike after the reception.

Due to scarce housing after the war, the couple were finally able to move into their first home in 1953 – which was a flat in Hatfield. They welcomed their first child, Susan in 1955, followed by Jane (1958) and Martin (1960).

Derek was a Drafter/Structural Design Engineer and after completing his apprenticeship, accepted a position with British Aircraft Corporation, in Stevenage. In early 1967, Derek accepted the opportunity to immigrate to the United States to work for Lockheed in Marietta, GA. In late 1967, the family moved to Seattle WA for work with Boeing Co. Thelma weathered all these challenges with her usual good nature. In 1969 the family welcomed Mark, the youngest child of their four children.

The family moved to Des Moines WA. Thelma was a loved and long-term employee at the Drop-Tot Inn, later known as the Des Moines Day Care Center. Through the years many children were dropped off into Miss Thelma’s loving arms. Parents were reassured as they knew their children were left in a safe loving environment. She cared for a generation of toddlers and school age children and prepared numerous breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

Thelma retired shortly after Derek in 1993. During their golden years, in addition to time with family, they enjoyed trips on an Alaska Cruise, England to visit family, California, Arizona and more locally, Cannon Beach with Bonnie their blonde Cocker Spaniel. Thelma also loved gardening and spent many happy hours tending her beautiful displays of spring and summer annuals.

Thelma is predeceased by her beloved husband Derek, in 2012, and survived by her Children: Susan (Dave), Jane (Starke), Martin, Mark (Amy), Grandchildren: Emily, Katie, Kayla, Trevor, Evan and Great-Grandchildren: Megan, Maddy, Tyler, Lauren and Sister, Joan Moulstone Sirey (Ralph).

Mum – we will always love you and we know you are finally home and at peace.

On 4/13/2024 there will be a private family interment at 10:00 at Mt View Cemetery, Auburn, followed by a Celebration of Life from 1-4 pm at the home of Thelma’s Daughter, Susan. Family, Friends and Caretakers are welcome to join us and share in the memories.

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