Thelma Eunice (Shipley) Hill was born to Charles and Elva Lavern (Richardson) Shipley on August 8, 1915 in Custer County near Litchfield, Nebraska. She went to meet her Lord March 31, 2017 at York, Nebraska.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at Hitchcock Funeral Home in Burwell,
Nebraska. Burial will be in the Brewster Cemetery near Brewster, Nebraska. Pastor Art Phillips and Pastor Mike Carl will officiate.
She and her twin, Velma Agnes, were the youngest of six children born.
The Shipley family moved to Madison Square community in Loup County in 1924, where they farmed. The children attended Madison Square school, and Taylor High School.
Thelma married Hazen Smith in 1932. During the 30’s, Thelma did laundry for the construction workers
with a gas engine powered washer. For several years she carried the West mail route in a model T, helping out patrons by bringing them needed supplies (groceries, chicken feed, and kerosene) along the route.
In 1941, Hazen and Thelma purchased the “Taylor Clarion” from Hazen’s parents. They continued to
operate it for 35 years. During that time, the paper received many awards. One of the big highlights was in 1969, when they received the “General Excellence” award. Others included the Photography
award, and Thelma for her weekly column “Right Around Home”. “Right Around Home” was enjoyed by many, though the family members may not always have enjoyed being the subject matter she
In 1976, they sold the “Taylor Clarion” and retired to Long Pine, Nebraska. They enjoyed taking
extensive trips around the U.S. While visiting family in Lincoln in August of 1979, Hazen passed away of a massive heart attack.
Thelma met Evangelist Paul Hill and they married in l982, making their home in California and Oregon.
After Paul’s death in l987, she returned to Nebraska to be near her family. Since 2002, she made York her home.
She enjoyed her visits from family, Sales with Carole, and community gatherings where son-in-law Jim
Sprague entertained. She was always ready, when with five minutes notice Carole would say, “Want to go to Hobby Lobby?” Jim continued to share that with her.
She was quite a musical person, playing several instruments, including her beloved organ. Just 10 days
before she passed away, her granddaughter had her once again play, “In the good ole summertime”. Pretty good for 101 years old.
Thelma was a big advocate for writing and assisted many youth at the high school with their journalism class and many of them can still hear her say, “now spell that correctly”.
Always young at heart, she would tell family she “didn’t want to join those old people at Bingo,
etc.”--tho they were all younger than her. She was proud of being 101 and still living alone.
She was a member of the Nebraska Press Women and Taylor Assembly of God Church and was an active participant in many community events thru the years.
Preceding her in death were her parents, husbands Hazen and Paul, twin sister, Velma, older sister,
Edith Primus, and brothers, Orval, Claude and Paul. Daughters Elaine Harris, and Carole Sprague, and daughter-in-law Karen Smith. Sons-in-law, Bill Harris, Richard Lewis, granddaughter Heather.
Surviving Thelma are daughter Jeanette Lewis of Taylor, sons Leland Smith (Dot) of Foster Missouri; David (Susan) of Norfolk; Dan (Lynn) of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Son-in-law, Jim Sprague of York. Nineteen grandchildren, great grandchildren, 4 step-children, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.