Thelma Jane Thomas Erickson Degner was born in Bentensport, on September 22, 1935 to Arthur and Mary (Swift) Thomas. She lived in Bentensport until the age of 5. She was then adopted by Sophie and Willis Erickson on August 3, 1940. Thelma was baptized and confirmed and married at St. John Lutheran Church in rural Albert City.
Growing up, she attended school in Albert City where she graduated in May 1953 from Albert City Community School. She lived in the Albert City area most of her life.
Thelma married Freddie Degner on December 19, 1953. They then lived on a farm for 38 years. Then they moved to Albert City to live.
Thelma loved to farm and garden. She especially loved flowers and crafts. In her spare time, she enjoyed cooking for family and friends. Thelma really loved Christmas time as her favorite time of year. She was the mother that kept everything going and treasured spending time with her family.
Those left to cherish her memory include her husband, Freddie Degner of Albert City; children: Lucinda (William) O'Neall of Havelock; Michael (Melody) Degner Sr. of Newell; Sue (Dan) Shold of Albert City; grandchildren: Damon O'Neall, Leigh Schultz, Misti Garcia, Michael Degner Jr., Kelli Vick, Josh Shold, Rachel Bernhardt, Shayla Iehl, Shane Degner; great grandchildren: Jagger and Javelin O'Neall; Chelsey and Nathaniel Schultz; Robert, Antonio and Gregorio Garcia; Jorden and Peyton Degner; Alycia and Tyler Vick; Tristan Bernhardt; sister, Helen Zellars of Jefferson, Iowa; extended family and friends.
Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Mary (Swift) Thomas; half brothers, Harry Thomas, Clarence Thomas, Dorsey Thomas, Harrison Thomas, Willis Erickson, and Charles Thomas; four full brothers, Clifford Thomas, Henry Thomas, Dale Miller, and Merle Thomas; and son, Ron Degner.