Thelma Hemphill Evans

Thelma Hemphill Evans, resident of Brandon Woods at Alvamar, passed away on October 19, 2011.  Family will greet friends from 5:30 – 7:00 pm, Friday, November 4th, at the Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 13th and Massachusetts Street.  Memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Pkwy, on Saturday, November 5th, at 11:00 am.  Private inurnment for immediate family will be at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Thelma McCleary Hemphill was born on July 24, 1910, in Reno, Kansas. She had wonderful memories of her childhood spent at the Hemphill homestead.  They moved to Lawrence when she entered first grade.  She attended Lawrence schools and continued her education at Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, where she was a member of Delta Sigma Epsilon Sorority.  Her first teaching position was in Lecompton, followed by several years at Pinckney Grade School.  Over the years she received many notes from former students telling how significant she was in their education. She married David Houston Evans upon his return from Harvard Business School.  In early marriage they loved to go to the Pla-Mor Ballroom in Kansas City, and Meadow Acres in Topeka, where they danced to Big Band music.  David preceded her in death in 1984, shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary.

The Evans family had businesses in various types of transportation dating back to 1863, when the family started the Lawrence Transfer Company. In later years the auto supply stores expanded to Topeka, Manhattan and Kansas City.  The Hemphill family business, also dating back to early days in Lawrence history, was in farmland sales and investments.
Thelma was the oldest living member of the First Presbyterian Church.  She was a past president of  Chapter AZ of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.  She belonged to the Betty Washington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the RLH Club (Reno-Lawrence Helpers), the Lakeview Club, and the Lawrence Country Club.  For several decades she participated in a retired teachers bridge group.  She loved gatherings with family and relatives.  She amazed everyone with a sharp mind past 100 years of age, with her fun humor and practical approach to life.  All of her brothers and sister preceded her in death. She was the last surviving child of Barbara McCleary and Charles Woodward Hemphill.

The family celebrates the wonderful, long life Thelma was fortunate to live. Thanks to the employees of Brandon Woods for their excellent care and kindness during her 7 years of residency.  Special thanks to Dr. Donald Hatton for over 30 years of care for both Thelma and David.  She leaves her two daughters and families: Mary Ann Langworthy of Santa Barbara, California; Doris and husband, Dr. R. Dean Williams, of Mission Hills, Kansas; five grandchildren: David Evans Langworthy and wife, Maria, of Seattle; George Hodges Langworthy of Los Angeles; Elaine Jacobs and husband, Jeff, of Mission Hills; Nancy Weeks and husband, Cooper, Jr. of Prairie Village; and Sarah Jozwiakowski and husband, Randy, of St. Louis.  She was extremely proud of her 9 great grandchildren:  Georgia and Adelaide Langworthy; Jackson and Connor Jacobs; John Cooper and Lyla Weeks; and Abby, Molly & Kate Jozwiakowski.

Memorial donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, The P.E.O. Chapter AZ Education Fund, or charity of your choice.  They may be sent in care of the mortuary.

8 Condolences

  1. Wendy Doane Barth on October 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Thelma was a childhood friend of my Grandmother, Dorothy Ann Doane. She has been a role model and special friend for many years! Opening her home to me for a quite place to study during my KU years and introducing me to PEO. We sure enjoyed her sharp wit and attention to details and were sorry to hear of her passing when we stopped by Brandon Woods on Sat. to visit her. She was a blessing and will be missed! Peace Be With You All! Wendy, Brad, Noah, and Jacqueline

  2. Linn Weeks on October 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    The kindest , most alert and interested lady I have ever known…… she never took her eyes off of mine when she spoke to me. She was loving and cared about everyone. I loved her and especially enjoyed watching her with her great grandchildren. She will be miissed so much by all.

  3. Chuck and Peggy Doane on October 25, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I’ve known Thelma most of my life. We always enjoyed her company. She was witty, knew current affairs, had a ready smile and laugh, and was a great hostess. We will miss her and will remember her always.

  4. jUDIE & MIKE RUSSELL on October 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Thelma seems to have been part of my life for many years. She was a dear friend of my Aunt Marion DeBauge–whom she attended college with. As Doris’ mother, she was an ever present part of our lives as we seemed to spend a great deal of time at her house–from Jr. High, through college. In recent years, she always remembered my family and our events when I would go to visit her. As a former Pinckney student, she shared some interesting stories about Pinckney in it’s earlier days. She was an amazing lady and I’m sure was very blessed to have such a wonderful daughter as Doris. Doris certainly made sure she led a quality life and went way beyond to assure Thelma’s comfort & happiness.

  5. Mary Hacker on October 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Thelma was a kind landlady to me and a terrific friend. She loaned me her baby bassinet when my first child was born and was the first person to give me a gift to buy my baby some books to read to him. She took time to tell me when to even cut the irises in the yard. I babysat for her husband so she could get out some when he was ill. Her husband and I used to listen to the basketball games together on the radio. She knew he really got a kick out of that! She hired me to clean her house knowing that a needed a job. She was one of the kindest woman I ever knew. I do not think today not very many people would be as kind as she was to a young family. I was blessed to have her in my life and will never forget her. Strength and love of God to her family. I will always miss her and love her

  6. Marcia Haines Roulier on November 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Thelma was quite a lady that left her mark on many people!!! She always made one feel that they were a “particular friend” to her. I can remember my mother laughing on the phone while talking with her. She did indeed make others “chuckel I enjoyed many times in her home in Lawrence while visiting Doris. Doris was a special blessing to her mother. I wish I could be there to celebrate Thelma’s life.

  7. Steve Bly on November 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I have many fond memories of Thelma while visiting her and Doris at her home during my high school years. We had great fun. May her spirit live on.

    Steve Bly

  8. robyn herzog on November 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    thelma was a sweet lady always has her smile
    i know right off she likes to drink i hear hear say she no wat i want if anther lady get it for her
    ill miss her
    she lite up a room when she smiles

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