OBITUARY: Thelma Jean Friday

Thelma Jean “T.J.” Friday, 86, died peacefully on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Newton with her family by her side.

She was born Aug. 5, 1935, in Marion to Walter E. and Mary Edith (Longhofer) Seibel. T.J. was a loving wife to three husbands who all preceded her in death:  Leo Edward (Bud) Rogers, who died April 18, 1963, David Ray Spellman, who died Jan. 7, 1981, and William E. “Bill” Friday, who died June 16, 2012.

T.J. was a woman of great faith and was a longtime active member of several churches including Huron Christian Church in South Dakota; First Christian Church of Marysville; and Salem United Methodist Church in Newton. She taught Sunday school, VBS and often played piano and organ for the church among other volunteer activities at the church.

During her working years, T.J. worked for Boeing for 10 years before she began working as secretary at the Dakota Christian Bible College; Huron South Dakota High School and Marysville Elementary School where she retired in 1997.

She was active in the League of Women Voters and Right to Life. T.J. was known for being a very patriotic person, and she greatly looked forward to spending time with her loving family and many friends. Her love extended to that of being a caregiver to her husband Bill for several years following a stroke.

She is survived by her son Shawn Spellman; daughter Cindy (Larry) Branson; and six grandchildren. T.J. was preceded in death by her parents; three husbands; and two brothers, Maynard Powers and Glen Seibel.

Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, at Salem United Methodist Church in Newton. Visitation with the family will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at Petersen Funeral Home Chapel in Newton. Graveside committal will be in the Hillside Cemetery, Sedgwick.

Memorials are suggested to Salem United Methodist Church in care of Petersen Funeral Home.


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