Thelma Ann Wilcox, 85, of Central Lake, the last original resident on State Street, living there 56 years, died peacefully, Sunday, June 5, 2011, at home.

She was born Oct. 3, 1925, in Welch, Ky., the daughter of William and Mary (Simpkins) McDowell. Her family moved to Hulbert, where she grew up and graduated from high school.

Thelma was very strong in the Republican Party and politics. She was an avid listener of Rush Limbaugh and the Fox News. She enjoyed following the Central Lake High School sports programs and watching the Detroit Tigers. She also enjoyed flea markets and garage sales. Thelma was dedicated to the hot lunch program at the Central Lake schools serving more than 300 students and 60 senior citizens daily, for more than 20 years. Through her work, she touched many lives.

On March 10, 1946, in Central Lake, she married E. Willie Wilcox who preceded her in death. She also was preceded in death by her parents, sister Eloise Payne, and brothers Jim and Chet McDowell.

Thelma is survived by her children Suzi (Dennis) McGuire, of Central Lake, and Dorothy (David) Bart, of Nevada; grandchildren Tiffany McGuire Gilligan, Brooke McGuire, Ashley McGuire (Donavan) Eggleston, David and Andrew Bart; great-grandchildren Brock Gilligan, Alivia and Addison Eggleston; and brothers LeRoy (Darlene) McDowel, Owen (Gail) McDowell and Paul (Shirley) McDowell.

A celebration of life and luncheon will be held Friday, June 10, at noon at the VFW Hall in Central Lake. A private family burial will be held in Southern Cemetery. Memorial donations may be directed to Northwest Hospice or Central Lake 1st Congregational Church Parish Nurse Program.

Arrangements have been handled by the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.

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