Thelma B. Petter, 82, died on Monday, August 3, 2020 at Brandywine Living at Dresher Estates in Dresher, Pa., of dementia.
Born August 4, 1937 in Harrisburg, Pa., she was the proud mother of four daughters, Marlene Petter of Kempton, Lynne Pierce (Scott) of Blue Bell, Karen Schwing (Fred) of Beach Haven, N.J., and Ami Petter-Lipstein (Daniel) of Highland Park, N.J. and seven grandchildren. Thelma was the loving wife of Philip, who passed away in 2016.
Thelma was a loving, nurturing, loyal, hardworking woman who had a strong sense of family and community. She spent more than 30 years as a tax preparer for H&R Block and was trusted by her clients, many of whom returned to her for years. Active in the community, Thelma served as the president and treasurer of both Sisterhood and Hadassah as part of Ohev Sholom synagogue, treasurer of the Williamsport Junior League, disaster chairperson of the Lycoming County Red Cross for six years, and president and treasurer of Sycamore Estates, among other community activities.
Her proudest accomplishments were her four daughters and seven grandchildren, who have wonderful memories of her. Many of those involve Penn State, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1959. She and Phil enjoyed sharing their love of the Nittany Lions by taking their daughters, and then grandchildren to Penn State football, Crosscutters’ and Little League World Series games and other sporting events. Thelma packed hundreds of tailgates over the years and there was always enough for friends and to take back to the dorm after the game. With her parents in Harrisburg, Thelma made sure her children spent time with her parents there, where everyone enjoyed shopping trips, fun days at Hershey Park and feeding the ducks at Italian Lake.
Thelma’s beautiful afghans are much-loved by her children and grandchildren, who enjoy their warmth and comfort today and will pass along to their children. She also enjoyed jigsaw puzzles and spent hours at the card table with snack trays filled with the pieces as she worked 1,000-piece puzzles, often well into the night.
Her blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes, and corned beef (with peaches!) were favorites of her grandchildren, along with games of Rummikub, visits to Little League, Reptilland, and Brandon Park and shopping trips.
She enjoyed playing bridge and mahjong, and in her younger days, spend hours swimming laps at Grampian Hills swim club.
Perhaps what her family will miss the most was her warmth and kindness. She was a good listener and very patient. She was always there to let them vent, offer advice or just listen. Even to the end, she was a sweet, grateful, wonderful woman who will be sorely missed by her family and friends.
Burial services will be private in Ohev Sholom Cemetery, Montoursville.
Arrangements handled by the Maneval Allen Redmond Funeral Home, 500 West 4th St., Williamsport.
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