Thelma Jean Lewis
September 10, 1925  -  April 5, 2018

Thelma Jean Lewis

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Terpening Son Mortuary
611 W. Grand Ave.
Artesia, NM  88210
Friday, April 13, 2018
10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
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Terpening Son Mortuary
611 W. Grand Avenue
Artesia, NM  88210
Saturday, April 14, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Map & Directions  Map & Directions

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Twin Oaks Memorial Park
59 Lake Arthur Highway
Artesia, NM  88210
Map & Directions  Map & Directions

Services are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 14 at Terpening & Son Mortuary Chapel for Thelma Jean Lewis of Artesia, New Mexico.

Mrs. Lewis, 92, beloved grandmother, mother, and friend was called to her eternal resting place on April 5, 2018.

Gary Weber will officiate at the services with burial to follow at Twin Oaks Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Bryan Atkins, Jason Atkins, Todd Atkins, J.T. Atkins, James Delaney, and Brad Shomer.

Visitation will be held on Friday, April 13 at Terpening & Son Mortuary from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The family will greet guests and friends at the funeral home from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Thelma was born on September 10, 1925 in Hope, NM, to parents R.T. and Sarah Edith Swift and is survived by daughter Verna Atkins and grandchildren Bryan Atkins, Todd Atkins, Jason Atkins, and Tiffany Shomer.

Thelma was preceded in death by beloved husband Howard Lewis and was recognized as a passionate teacher, artisan, and advocate. Thelma leaves a legacy that is an example for us all, not only through her active roles within in her church and community, but by teaching us how to take pleasure in all things, big and small.

Memorial contributions may be made to N.M. Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Sante Fe, N.M., Artesia Historical Museum and Art Foundation, and Artesia Senior Center - Commission on Aging.


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  1. Pete Jones
    Odessa, TX

    Verna it saddens me to learn of your mom's passing. She was a wonderful and loving lady.She was cordialevery time that I visited with her . God has claimed one of his angels to heaven.God Bless you and your Family

  2. Lynn Hunter Lind

    One summer afternoon when I was about 5 years old, I was so bored I decided to go through my Golden Books and pick out a few I was through with and see if I could make some money! I went door to door down Bullock street, and when I got to Howard and Thelma's house, Thelma answered the door. She said how much do you want for one? And I said, a nickel. She said just a minute... I have to go get my purse. So I waited... She came back and gave me a nickel, and when I asked which book she wanted, she refused to take one and said... go ahead and just keep the nickel. So I did. Making my way home, I discover my mother was on the phone with Mrs. Lewis. So she said, "Where have you been?" (She thought I was playing in the back yard.) I said I was trying to sell some of my Golden Books, and Mrs. Lewis bought one, and she gave me a nickel, but then she wouldn't take a book! Well, don't do that again!... My brief career as a used book seller! I loved her paintings, and I knew many people who learned how to paint from Thelma. She and Howard Lewis, who built our family's home, are still alive and well in my heart!

  3. Nancy Dunn, Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center
    Artesia, NM

    I am so sad to hear of Thelma's passing--she was one of the sweetest people that I have ever met, and a joy to work with.

  4. Jean Ellis
    Artesia, NM

    She was very kind and caring person, she loved to help us to paint many pretty pictures' She made our senor years a lot fun. I will miss the Lady very much

  5. Nona Smith
    Crowley, TX

    So very sorry to hear of Thelma passing. She was one of the most amazing women I knew. She was so much fun to bowl with and we went on several bowling tournaments, state or nationals levels. She never met a stranger and I never ever saw her in a bad mood, she uplifted every one around her. She will be so very missed.

  6. Rob and Shary (Loving) Bullock
    Artesia, NM

    Verna, we loved your mother. Life was a joy to her and she shared that joy with everyone she was around.
    With love, Shary and Rob

  7. Charlotte Champion Rob erts
    Holdenville, OK

    Thelma was daddy's first cousin. She was so God blessed with her kind, compassionate spirit. She was always so kind to me and I loved her. Growing up in Artesia It seemed Thelma was always there and even though I moved away it didn't erase all the good memories. Verna my heart does out to you and your family. Even though I can't be at the services, my heart will be with you.

  8. Jim Runyan
    Goldthwaite, TX

    My condolences. It's always such a sad thing to lose a loved one. I've know Thelma my entire life, and I'll reminisce over all the good things I can remember about her and those are many.

    She was my mother's first cousin, I guess that make's me some distant cousin to her. I learned more from Thelma about my family (Swift) history than anyone else and for that I'll be eternally grateful. Thanks for sharing your mother with my family.. Her memory will live with me till I'm gone from this earth and I'll do my best to impart what I can remember to my children and grandchildren in hopes of keeping them (memories) going for a generation or two longer. Blessings and prayers for you all at this difficult juncture in your lives.

  9. Faye Jean Pittman Varner
    Artesia,, NM

    I will be unable to attend her services due to surgery. I've known Thelma for years and she was a very good lady.

  10. Riley & Janet Norris
    South Fork, CO

    Always Sweet and Thoughtful. We will miss you.

  11. Sandra Terry Tolliver
    El Paso, TX

    To the family of Mrs. Thelma Jean Lewis, you have my condolences for your loss. I went to school with Verna and even rode the school bus with her at Atoka Elementary School. Sincerely, Sandra Terry Tolliver

  12. Rosemary Dowell Freemyer
    Bozeman, MT

    Love to you Verna and your family. Your Mom was so wonderful to us when we were growing up.

  13. Karen Brito
    Artesia, NM

    I am so very sorry for your loss of Thelma! I used to bowl with her on a bowling league back in the late 80's, early 90's. She always had a smile and brightened up a room. I didn't know her very well, but just being around her brought comfort. She was always so kind and her beautiful smile put you at ease. I pray for comfort for the family!

  14. Janie Lee Hammons and Imogene Lee
    Colleyville,TX and Roswell, NM,

    Dear Verna, Mother and I were saddened to read of your mother’s passing. Mother has many fond memories of painting class and a lifetime of common connections . She recalled that Thelma always remindied her that no matter what, “there will be joy in the morning.”

    I recall so many Girl Scout memories that your mom was part of. I worked for your mom and dad one summer in college. I think that your mom had gone to help you with a new baby. I tried hard but still managed to gum up the office work!

    May your memories sustain you in the days ahead.

    Love, Janie Lee Hammons and Imogene Lee

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