She was born July 5, 1915, in Parke County, the daughter of Fred Campbell and Clara Ames Campbell.
She graduated from Bridgeton High School, Class of 1933. Following graduation, she worked for the Nance Family helping to care for Mrs. Nance. She enjoyed her work there and had saved her money to attend nursing school. She graduated from Union Hospital School of Nursing, Class of 1940. She was the Class President and was very proud to be a nurse. On Nov. 10, 1940, she married Richard L. Sanders. She began her nursing career at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis while her husband was at Allison's. When he joined the service, they were first stationed in Walla Walla, Wash. While there, they had their baby, Richlyn. After Richard left for over seas duty, Thelma moved back to Clay County. She began working at the Clay County Hospital from 1943-1955. In 1955, she moved her nursing career to the office of Drs. Frank and Robert Maurer. She worked as their office nurse until they retired in 1979. She wasn't ready for retirement yet, so she nursed for Dr. Moon and then Dr. Farid. Dr. Farid encouraged Thelma to help with the beginning of the WIC program in Clay County. She was with the WIC program until the age of 75, when retirement came.
Among memberships, Thelma was a life member of the Delts Alumni Chapter, Nightingale Nurses Association, R.N. Club and a past 50-year member of the Carbon Eastern Star. Thelma was a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church and was active in the Sarah Circle women's group and the Caring Ministry.
Survivors include her loving daughter Richlyn Coughanowr and husband John C. Coughanowr, grandson John C. Coughanowr II and wife Lisa, Julienne Ruhe and husband Kevin Ruhe, great-grandchildren, Carli Coughanowr, Alexis Ruhe, Alec Coughanowr and Isaac Ruhe, all of Brazil, nephew Ron All and wife Carol, Indianapolis, great-niece Shannon Landwerlen and husband Jeremy, great-nephew Ryan All, and other extended family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Richard Sanders on March 27, 1993, and one sister Josie All.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, at 11 a.m., at the First United Methodist Church with Pastor Tony Alstott officiating. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be Friday, from 4-8 p.m., at French Funeral Home, and again one hour prior to services at the church.
Pallbearers will include John Coughanowr, II, Kevin Ruhe, Ron All, Ryan All, Jeremy Landwerlen, Ralph Wilcox, Alec Coughanowr and Isaac Ruhe.
Memorial contributions in her honor may be made to First United Methodist Church, Wabash Valley Community Foundation, Clay Community Theater or to Hope Hospice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Post a heart of condolence at www.frenchfuneralhome.com.