Thelma served in the U.S. Army as a medical technician during the Korean War. Later, she attended Alabama State & then Harris Teachers College in St. Louis, where she graduated in 1961. She worked as a teacher in the St. Louis Public Schools for 38 years while raising her children and her grandson. Thelma credits her strong relationship with God for getting through significant losses in her life. Now, in her late 80s, she lives with her grandson & his family in her University City home & devotes much of her time to her faith.