Thelma Louise Graber Balden, 81, of Springfield, passed away Sunday, March 22, 2009, in her home. She was born in Pierce City, Missouri, on September 22, 1927, to Samuel A. Graber and Mabel A. Frazier Graber.
Thelma graduated from high school in Pierce City in 1945. On March 24, 1950, she married Fred H. Balden, Jr. and they moved to Springfield in 1953. She received a two year teaching certificate from Southwest Missouri Teacher's College (now M.S.U.). Following her time as a teacher at Chapman School near Jolly Mill, she worked for Sears, Union National Bank, and was a Unit Manager for Tupperware Distributor Sharp Sales Co. Thelma enjoyed being active in the PTA Council, gardening, growing flowers, and she was an avid cook.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by a brother, James Graber, a sister, Vera Lee Stotts, and an infant grandson, Jack Mayhall.
She is survived by her husband, Fred H. Balden, Jr., of the home; two sons, J. Allen Balden, of Springfield, Mo., and Fred H. Balden, III, of Nixa, Mo.; two daughters, Sammy Mayhall and partner, Mike Hackworth, of Springfield, Mo., and Sally Wade and husband, Leroy, of New Bloomfield, Mo.; five grandchildren, Caleb Mayhall, of Chicago, Ill,, Molly Mayhall, of Austin, Texas, Cara Coats and her mother, Debby Coats, of Springfield, Mo., Madeline Vandergrift and husband, Jacob, of Springfield, Mo., and Hannah Wade, of New Bloomfield, Mo.; a long time friend and fellow cookbook collector, Paula, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 27, 2009, at 10:30 a.m. in Gorman-Scharpf Brentwood Chapel with Pastor Gary Griffin officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Park Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday evening from 6 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Crosslines of Springfield, 1710 E. Chestnut Expy., Springfield, Mo., 65802, or Southwest Missouri Humane Society, 3161 W. Norton Rd., Springfield, Mo., 65803.