Thelma Lett

Thelma passed away at home at the age of 99, on May 16th, 2020, following many years suffering from dementia.
Thelma was born March 21, 1921 in Lake Park, IA. She was the middle child of Ralph and Bessie (Stapelton)Jones. After graduation she got her teachers degree and taught school in a one room classroom for several years. She moved to Des Moines and worked for General Electric. During this time she met her future husband, James while he was on leave from the Army. James and Thelma married in 1946. They had two daughters, Cristi and Donna. In 1958 they moved to Creston, IA for James’ job. The family returned to Des Moines in 1960. Thelma then worked for City Supply Corporation until she went to work for the Register and Tribune where she achieved the position of Assistant Credit Manager. In 1985 Thelma retired to take care of James until his death in 1989. Thelma then returned to work as a secretary for the Coppola Law firm and then French Way Cleaners where she worked well past her 90th birthday.
Thelma was outgoing and loved being with people. She and Jim loved dancing and playing cards. Many Saturday nights they could be found at the Val Air Ballroom. Thelma was a member of College Ave Christian Church where she was the “official greeter” for many years. She also helped Donna at the farmers markets where she enjoyed talking with customers.
Thelma is survived by daughters Cristi (Wally) Smeby, Mason City, IA; Donna Lett, West Des Moines; brother Glenn (Faye) Jones, Algona, IA and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband James; parents, Ralph and Bessie Jones; brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Beulah Jones; and grandson Joseph Miller.

Family graveside services will be held at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 7601 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, Iowa 50321. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no more than 10 people will be allowed inside the Tent at any given time. For condolences please visit: www.iowafuneral
Cristi and Donna would like to thank Wesley Life Hospice for the support they provided during their mother’s final stages. Memorials can be made in her name to Wesley Life Hospice of Iowa or St Mark Lutheran Church, West Des Moines, IA.


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