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Thelma Jean Schofield

The immediate family, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren and many relatives and friends, were able to visit Thelma Jean and show their love before God called her home on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip, at the age of 84.

Thelma Jean Fosheim was born November 24, 1926, at Pierre, S.D., the daughter of Peter and Viola (Hand) Fosheim. She grew up in the Deep Creek area and attended school at the Little Eagle School. She graduated from Midland High School in 1944 and attended Black Hills Teachers College. She taught school at the Ottumwa and Hayes schools.

She married Matthew V. "Mike" Schofield on March 1, 1946, at Midland, where they farmed and ranched in the Midland area. They moved to Midland when Mike accepted the town marshal job in the mid-1950s and following his election as Haakon County Sheriff in 1962, the couple and their family moved to Philip where Thelma Jean would spend the rest of her life.

The most important thing to Thelma Jean was her family and her unconditional love for them. Her love was tempered with patience and discipline and her eight children learned about being responsible and dependable, and the importance of the work ethic and keeping your word. Her Norwegian heritage was strong and whatever life threw at her was met with a calm and resilient toughness. One of her favorite sayings was, "Well, things could always be worse." She always seemed to know that her strong faith in God and family would carry her through anything that life had to offer. The family history book she wrote in 1988, "To Die For Old Glory," expressed her patriotism for her country and its ideals and her thanks to her husband, Mike, and his brothers who served in WWII.

Her passing leads to a reunion with the love of her life, her husband Mike of 39 years, who passed away in 1985.

Thelma Jean will always be remembered for her Norwegian hospitality at her home in Philip where the coffeepot was always on and visitors were soon looking at a plate of cookies or some other treat on the table. She always had a genuine interest and honest concern for how things were going with her kids and their families and she was truly a person who always treated people the way she wanted to be treated. Family and friends will miss her quiet Norwegian ways, her ready smile, her subtle sense of humor, and her willingness to always help if needed.

Thelma Jean didn't have much for hobbies, except maybe gardening, cooking, and baking because her family was everything. In her early 1970s, however, she decided to take piano lessons and held numerous impromptu concerts for her family, especially the grandkids. She also liked to read and one could often find her clicking away at the table on her electric typewriter. Christmas time was the perfect season for her to throw together a big batch of her homemade party mix and distribute containers and tins to family and friends. She was a member of the United Church. Always gracious, always polite, always loving. Thelma Jean will be missed the most by her children, her brothers and sisters, and all who knew her. Heaven is a better place today.

Thelma Jean is survived by her children, Nancy (Tom) Russell of Black Hawk, Patricia Freeman of Philip, Matt Schofield (Carol), Michael (Janice) Schofield, Wade Schofield, Jason (Lisa) Schofield, all of Philip, Brad (Debbie) Schofield of Gillette, Wyo., and Nina (Brent) Richardson of Sheldon, N.D.; 28 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Peter (Sylvia) Fosheim of Pierre, Joe Fosheim and Vic (Carol) Fosheim, both of Midland; five sisters, Pauline Schofield of Midland, Edith Schofield of Evansville, Wyo., Judy (George) Gerig of Sturgis, Tina (Orlyn) Haug of Aurora, Colo., and Ruth (Lou) Gassner of Berthoud, Colo.; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Thelma Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Matthew V. "Mike" Schofield; her parents; four brothers, Richard, Roger, Johnny and George Fosheim; and a great-granddaughter, Samantha Marshall.

Funeral services were held Monday, May 16, at the American Legion Hall in Philip, with Pastor Kathy Chesney officiating.

Music was provided by Marilyn Millage, pianist, and John Gillaspie, vocalist. Ushers were Terry and Monte Schofield.

Pallbearers were Jeff and Morgan Russell, Nick, Eric and Forrest Schofield, Erick Hoag and Sawyer Richardson.

Interment was at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.

A memorial has been established.

Her online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com