Thelma E. Dietmeyer, 94, passed quietly into eternity to be with her Lord and Savior on August 3, 2021 while at home, only 4 days before her 95th birthday.
Thelma was born in Mount Vernon, Illinois on August 7, 1926, the 7th child to Milton and Theresa (Hall) Jamerson. Thelma’s father left while she was fairly young and money was tight while her mother raised the children on her own, but (as Thelma later said), “Our clothes were always clean”. For a period of time, they even lived in an abandoned streetcar and her mother took in laundry and sewing to provide. Thelma worked during her teen years at the local shoe factory, but after graduating high school in 1944, she moved to Waukegan to live with one of her sisters and her brother-in-law. She worked for awhile at her sister’s beauty supply store before taking a job as a secretary/clerk typist at the Great Lakes Navy Base.
It was during this time that she first met her beloved husband Richard (Dick), who was driving the streetcar that picked her up for work every morning. He often told the story of the pretty blond running to catch the streetcar because she was always late. He always joked that she was late every day and “she’s been late ever since”! After a 3 month engagement, they were married in 1947.
Eight months after their marriage, Thelma resigned from her job at the navy base because of pregnancy, and delivered her first child a month later (9 months and 4 days after her wedding). Three more children followed over the next 12 years, and after all the kids were in school, Thelma jumped back into the workforce as a legal secretary. She did this for many years until she went to work as a secretary at Immanuel Baptist Church of Waukegan (now Immanuel Church of Gurnee), where she had been attending church since arriving in Waukegan years earlier. Thelma taught Sunday school for many years, sang in the church choir, and enjoyed helping the other ladies in the church kitchen with numerous potlucks, bridal and baby showers, and any other church function requiring food. One of her favorite pastimes was baking and, if you were lucky enough to ever receive one of her apple pies, you know that she excelled in that area.
After raising their family in the Waukegan and Gurnee area, Thelma lived the last 25+ years at her home in Lake Bluff and enjoyed spending time with her family and especially babysitting her grandkids throughout the years. Her health and vitality definitely began to decline after the death of her beloved Richard in May of 2016 and she has lived quietly at her home since then.
Thelma is preceded in death her parents, her 6 siblings, her husband, Richard Dietmeyer, and her son, Fred Dietmeyer.
She is survived by her children, Barbara Balberg, Cheryl (Jim) Stewart, and Steve (Tina) Dietmeyer; and five grandchildren, Rebecca Dietmeyer, Brie (Jason) Dietmeyer, Brad Dietmeyer, Jacob (Colleen) Dietmeyer, and Ellen (Scott) Wilson, and three great-grandchildren, Elias, Walter, and Evelyn Dietmeyer, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Monday, August 9, 2021, at Warren Funeral Home, 1475 N. Cemetery Road, Gurnee, IL from 9-11 am with the funeral service beginning at 11 am. Graveside service will be private.
The family is being assisted by Warren Funeral Home.
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