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On the evening of January 8, 1937, a doctor was called from a charity donkey basketball game in Holland, Indiana to deliver a baby girl at the Melvin and Mabel Bartelt home.  The baby was named Thelma Jean and she began an 82-year journey that ended on February 7, 2019 at Scenic Hills Care Center in Ferdinand, Indiana.

The early years of the journey were spent on a dairy farm, attending Holland School, and being an active member of Zoar Methodist Church.  She graduated from Holland High School in 1955 having been honored to be the basketball homecoming queen in her senior year.  Following graduation she was employed at Holland Distributors, the local advertising and promotions business.  When the town of Holland celebrated its centennial in August 1959, Thelma was one of the centennial queen candidates.  The following week, on August 29, 1959, on a very hot and humid Saturday evening she married Lester Oxley.  For the next 59 years she devoted her life to her husband and children.  Recently, as her health declined, she was lovingly cared for by her husband, Lester.

In 1964 Thelma and Lester moved to their new house on the Oxley farm in Stendal, Indiana.  It was in this house that she and Lester raised their daughter and four sons.   Over the years Thelma took pleasure in watching her children’s and grandchildren’s success in local schools and college.  She enjoyed working at Pike Central’s school cafeteria and interacting with the students.  Thelma and Lester enjoyed traveling to see their children and grandchildren, hosting gatherings with family and friends, and showering the family with Christmasgifts.

Thelma joined St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Stendal after her marriage, sang in the choir, was active in women’s activities, and participated in the annual Fourth of July picnic at the church.  Thelma Jean Oxley’s life’s journey was filled with family, friends, and church.  She was preceded in death by her parents; and two sisters, Lois Bartelt and Barbara (Bartelt) Bilderback.

Thelma is survived by her husband, Lester R. Oxley of Stendal, Ind.; one daughter, Sandra (Mark) Robertson of New Palestine, Ind.; four sons, Lonnie (Michelle) Oxley of Versailles, Kentucky, Lance (Susan) Oxley of New Palestine, Ind., Leslie (Sara) Oxley of Orlando, Florida, Lyle (Christine) Oxley of Newburgh, Ind.; one brother, William (Kathy) Bartelt of Newburgh, Ind.; by nine grandchildren and two great grandchild.

Funeral services for Thelma J. Oxley will beheld at 10:00 a.m., E.S.T., on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Stendal with burial to follow at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Cemetery.  Pastor Ed Wicks will officiate at the service.

                Friends may call for visitation from 2:00-8:00 p.m., on Monday, February 11th, at the Nass & Son Funeral Home in Huntingburg; and also from 9:00-10:00 a.m., Tuesday, at the church.  Condolences may be shared online at:

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