Thelma Elizabeth Nicklett



Thelma Elizabeth (Dean) Nicklett was born on March 3rd, 1925 in Buckner, Kentucky and died in her home in Issaquah, Washington on October 10th, 2017.  Her parents were Robert Virgil Dean and Nina Mae (Bolton) Dean.  She had 4 older brothers, all deceased, and two younger sisters and one brother.

At about age 6, during the depression, Thelma and her family moved to escape the dust bowl to Chico, California to be near other family. Thelma attended schools in Chico where she thrived playing sports, enjoying many friends and being active in her church.  She kept in touch with many of her friends for over 60 years.   While a teenager, Thelma enjoyed spending time with her favorite Aunt Ethyl and Uncle Lauren Bolton.   She graduated High School and went to work at a local company.

The Methodist minister arranged a date for Thelma to attend a church dance with a dashing Army Air Force pilot-in-training named Chuck Nicklett.  It was love at first sight.  Ultimately, Thelma took the train with Chuck’s sister Georgia Nicklett to Marion, Arkansas where Chuck was stationed nearby.  During a weekend leave they were married on June 27th, 1943.  Chuck soon left to serve in the war in Europe.

Baby Charles Roger was born 9 ¼ months later in Los Angeles where Thelma was staying in the same apartment building as her mother-in-law Eleanor Nicklett.  Within a few weeks, Thelma received the terrible news that Chuck’s plane was shot down over Germany and Chuck was MIA.  Weeks later she heard that Chuck was a POW.  Chuck came home just after Christmas in 1945 to meet his son for the first time.

After the war, Thelma and family moved to Chico to be near her family.  Chuck found a great job with Zellerbach Paper Company, where he worked in 3 locations for 35 years. The couple stayed in Chico and nearby Oroville until 1956, adding a daughter Susan Lynn and a second son Gary Edwin. The family moved to Stockton, California where they stayed for 14 years. Thelma’s warm smile and friendliness helped them make friends at each place and make it feel like home.

In Stockton, Thelma attended college and received her BA degree in Education in 1963 from the University of the Pacific.  She taught elementary school for 5 years while raising her children—a very busy time—along with much support from Chuck.

In 1970 the family moved to Bellevue, Washington for a year, then to Issaquah for the rest of their lives. Thelma and Chuck were active at Aldersgate Methodist Church and again made many close friends. They very much enjoyed playing Pinochle and Bridge with their friends and enjoyed Gourmet Club and Kiwanis. Their greatest pleasure was traveling.  Favorite locations were Hawaii, Europe, cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska and visiting family in California. Thelma additionally was active in the hospital auxiliary and garden club.  After Chuck passed away on July 24th, 2006, Thelma continued to stay active with Bridge, Kiwanis, and the Red Hat Club as well her church.

Thelma had a long and happy life and passed quietly in her sleep in her home, as she had wished. She is sorely missed by her children Charles Roger Nicklett, of Kirkland, WA, Susan Lynn (Nicklett) Godsell, of Orlando, Florida and Gary Edwin Nicklett and wife Deborah, of Lake Tapps, Washington. She is further survived and missed by four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, two sisters and a brother.  Thelma is now at peace and united with her husband of 63 years.

Services will be held at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 SE 240th ST, Kent, WA on December 28, 2017 at precisely 1:15 PM.

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