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Thelma's Story

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Thelma Pauline Ryan, 95 of Clinton, passed away Monday, December 26, 2016 at the Alverno Health Care Facility. Visitation will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 P.M. Friday, December 30, 2016 at the Pape Funeral Home where funeral services will begin at 3:00 P.M. Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery.

Thelma was born in Port Arthur Texas on April 7, 1921, the daughter of Clifton J. and Gertrude M. (Nutty) Lopez. After being raised in southern Louisiana she earned degrees in Commerce and Education from Southwestern Louisiana University, Lafayette, Louisiana. She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi. Meeting during World War II she married John E. Ryan on March 11, 1945, in Barksdale Field Chapel, Shreveport, Louisiana. After her husband graduated in Dentistry, they returned to his hometown of Clinton.

Thelma was a homemaker who took pleasure in taking care of her family. She cherished family vacations and get togethers. She was active in PTA, Agatha Auxiliary, Lyceum, Clinton Dental Wives Auxiliary, and multiple functions at the church and the Alverno. Her hobbies included sewing for the family, tending flowers in her rock garden, and bird watching. Thelma and her husband enjoyed annual Iowa Dental Conventions and activities, and she assisted him in the office the last several years of his dental practice. They enjoyed attending Hawkeye football games and loved ballroom dancing. In 2010 she moved to the Alverno where she was well cared for. She enjoyed living there and loved the staff.

Thelma will be deeply missed by her three daughters, Pam (David) Ehlers, Valerie Jungen, and Julie (Dale) Walwer all of Clinton; six grandchildren, Spencer (Molly) Ehlers of Mobile, AL, Elizabeth Ehlers (Ryan) Glade of Iowa Falls, Lucas (Brynn) Richardsen of Ames, IA, Brian Jungen of Coralville, IA, Jason (Tori) Wenger of Cedar Rapids, and Beaux Walwer of Clinton; eleven great grandchildren, Brendan, Michael, Emily, Lydia, Emery, Donavin, Lauren, Elias, Payton, Caden, and Rae; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 68 years; one brother, James "JC" Lopez; one sister, Mildred "Millie" Noel, and a great granddaughter, Amelia Grace Wenger.

The family gives a special thank you to the Cardiovascular Medicine doctors at Genesis East, Genesis Hospice, and her caregivers at the Alverno. A memorial has been established. Online condolences may be left at www.papefh.com.
Published on  December 27, 2016
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