Thelma Letha Vanderzanden

Cemetery:Visitation Cemetery in Forest Grove, Oregon
Birth:Sun Nov 16 1913
Death:Fri Aug 16 2019
Plot #SW287


Thelma L. Vanderzanden, 105, resident of the Beaverton community, died Friday afternoon, August 16, 2019, at Brookdale Beaverton in Beaverton.

THELMA LETHA VANDERZANDEN was born November 16, 1913, in Mountaindale, Oregon, the daughter of the late Floyd W. Raffety and Grace M. (Jackson) Raffety. She graduated Hillsboro Union High School, Class of 1931.

She converted to Catholicism and was united in marriage to Edward Adrian Vanderzanden on November 13, 1935, in the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Verboort. Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Edward, on January 31, 1953, in Forest Grove, Oregon, after celebrating over eighteen years of marriage together. Following Edward’s death, she moved to the Hillsboro community, where she lived until 2004, when she moved to the Rock Creek Retirement Community with her sister Alma.

Thelma worked and lived on the Warren Bulb Farm in Gales Creek, OR through her twenties; later she was an office manager for VanDyke Appliances in Forest Grove and as a saleswoman for the Plaza V Shopping Center in Hillsboro, until she retired.

Thelma was well known in the Hillsboro community for her volunteerism and kind sense of humor. She hand-quilted and crocheted hundreds of quilts for premature babies at Tuality Hospital and was recognized by the hospital for serving over 5,000 volunteer hours. She remained active through her eighties with ballroom dancing on Saturday nights at the Hillsboro Elks Club, square dancing and walking every morning indoors at Fred Meyers, where she logged over 10,000 miles. Among her special interests, she enjoyed gardening, hosting picnics, picking berries and making preserves, and playing cards. Thelma was an avid traveler and toured China, the West Indies, Mexico, and most of Europe. She was also preceded in death by her three sisters, Alma Wilson, Velda Northrup and Arleta McGoldrick and her daughter, Veleta M. Mullen. Survivors include her three grandchildren and their spouses, Carrie and Mark Strong, of Gervais, Oregon; Michelle and Ron Hudson, of Troutdale, Oregon and Trisha Letourneau, of Portland, Oregon; her three great-grandchildren, Michael Mullen, Randy Hudson and Madeline A. Letourneau and her three great-great-grandchildren, Michael A. Mullen, Jr.; Mitchell A. Mullen and Maxwell A. Mullen and many nieces and nephews.

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