on Oct 16 in Obituaries posted by Dwight Olmstead
Thelma L. Farnsworth, 96, Vancouver WA died Tuesday morning, October 14th, 2014. Thelma was born on November 8, 1917 in Wilburn Arkansas to Clarence and Zella (Payton) Abram.
Thelma loved to share stories of her life with family and friends. When only a few months old, her mother bundled her up for a trip to town where her father had to report for the draft, it was so icy that Clarence had to wrap burlap about the horses’ hooves. On arriving in town, they learned that WW I was over! Later, Thelma remembered walking miles to school, chopping cotton and various other farm chores. She rejoiced when Zella started a store and then a hotel in Heber Springs and the family moved to town. There, Thelma became a member of town society, ever the belle of the ball, and finally Miss Cleburne County.
She spent a few years at Harding College and after WW II broke out became a flight attendant for Continental Airlines, flying the route between Denver and El Paso in DC3 airliners. Flying in those early years was quite a different thing than today, without pressurization and the other amenities now included with air travel. She had a myriad of tales about her experiences during her aviation years…airsick passengers, coffee that in turbulence would fly out of the cup but she would always catch safely back in, first time flyers and men flirting with her. Her delightful sense of humor made her popular with both crew and passengers. It was on one of these trips that she met her future husband, Roy K. Farnsworth.
After a long courtship, Thelma resigned from Continental (flight attendants had to be single in those days) and she and Roy were married. During their marriage they lived in many different locations; Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Mexico and Idaho, while Roy conducted his various businesses. Finally they retired to Parker Arizona. Roy, however, probably as a result of abdominal wounds received at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th, and later at New Guinea, was diagnosed with stomach cancer and passed away at Phoenix. Thelma continued living in Parker for a number of years, enjoying socializing and volunteering thousands of hours in the thrift shop for the hospital auxiliary.
In the fall of 2008, Thelma moved to Vancouver WA to be closer to her family. She moved into a small family care facility and quickly became part of their family too.
On the night before her passing Thelma told Monica (her caregiver and dear friend), “Tell him I’ll be ready to go in the morning and he can come get me. He knows where I need to go and he’ll get me to the right place. You know who I’m talking about don’t you? Roy. Tell Roy he can come get me in the morning.” The next morning Thelma was heard whispering “Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye,” before she slipped peacefully away with Roy.
Thelma is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Virgil Abram and husband Roy Farnsworth. She is survived by her sons; Professor Rodney Farnsworth, Retired, Mountain View, Hawai’i, Rick (Donna) Farnsworth, Brush Prairie, WA, Dick Farnsworth, Brush Prairie WA and granddaughter, Olivia Farnsworth.
Arrangements are being made by Family Funeral Service in Heber Springs, Arkansas.
Visitation will be held Thursday evening from 5:00 to 7:00, October 23rd, at Family Funeral Service in Heber Springs with services on Friday morning October 24, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Burial at Heber Springs Cemetery.