Thelma Mae Wheeler

Thelma Mae Lewis Wheeler, West Scranton and Lake Sheridan, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday evening at the home of her daughter Sally Zemek in Mississippi.    She was the widow of Thomas E. Wheeler.  The couple had been married for 49 years.

Born 1926 in Scranton, she was the daughter of the late David and Sadie Evans Lewis.  Educated in Scranton schools, Thelma was a member of the second graduating class of West Scranton High School in 1944.  Upon graduation she went to work at the Murray Corporation of America as well as the Leshore Calgift Company where she retired from in 1983.  A woman of deep faith Thelma was a devoted member of the Trinity Congregational Church, West Scranton where she sang in the choir.  Always a gifted singer, Thelma and her brother David sang together often and especially in Eisteddfas Welsh Singing competitions which they often won.

Thelma and Tom retired and moved to Ft. Myers, Florida where they enjoyed many years together. Upon moving back to Scranton, Thelma joined the West Side Senior Center and received the Caring Neighbor Award.  Later she moved to the Jackson Heights Apartments and became active there as well.  She went on to serve on the board of the Scranton Housing Authority.

Surviving are her daughters Sally Zemek and her husband Dr. Louis of Belmont, MS., Carol Thomas and her husband James and Ann Kochis and her husband Larry all of Scranton; her son Tom Wheeler and his wife Bridget of Fleetville;  grandsons Louis Zemek and wife Anna, Jamie Zemek, Atty. Jason Zemek and wife Kim and Bryan Zemek and wife Kris,  James Thomas and wife Eva, Larry Kochis and Thomas Wheeler and wife Devon;  seventeen great grandchildren; a cousin Ken Rohlands; several nieces and nephews.

She was also preceded in death by brothers David and William Lewis and Thomas Evans.

Funeral services will be held Sunday at 3:30pm in the Trinity Congregational Church 220 S. Main Ave. West Scranton officiated by her son in law Dr. Louis Zemek along with Rev. Jeremy Mullins.

Friends may call Sunday from 2:00pm until the time of service at the church.

Interment, private at the convenience of the family in the Washburn Street Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family strongly encourages memorial contributions be made in Thelma’s memory to the Trinity Congregational Church 220 S. Main Ave. Scranton, PA 18504

To share a memory or to express your condolences to the family please visit

Arrangements have been entrusted to and are under the care and direction of the Vanston and James Funeral Home, Scranton.


  1. Judy

    Sally, Carol, Annie, Tommy, forgive that I am not including the spouses (Lou and Larry in particular). I am so sorry that I’m unable to get in for the service. My heart is most definitely going to be with you all and the rest of ‘the cousins’! If I had to share a memory, as my memories are limited, I would say to you all, her smile, which came from the eyes, when she held out her arms to give me a big hug, no matter how hectic and busy the occasion was – at the lake or mostly at Christmas time. These are the memories – warm and quietly wonderful – and cookies!!! Regrets would be that we didn’t spend more time in her company. I am, forever and always grateful for the blessings of my cousins, and you all are her legacy she’s behind (and we have benefited) – Carol and Annie, what would I have done without your support when mom passed – you picked up her gift of true generosity of spirit. She gave me the gift of her girls! Cousins that I don’t see enough of, but always carry in my heart. Thank you Aunt Thel (and Uncle Tom). She will rest in peace with the rest of her family that was there to greet and welcome her home….Job well done, Aunt Thel and I lift a quiet prayer in thanks.

  2. Beverley Barrett-Maginley

    Mrs. Wheeler and Family,
    Thank you so much for your hospitality over the years, especially the fun times at Lake Sheridan. It left me with so many memories I have shared with my daughters for years. Much love and peace throughout this difficult time.

  3. Tammie Harris

    Carol and James and your entire family,
    My sincerest condolences on the loss of your dear mother. She was a beautiful, kind, loving woman and will be dearly missed. I am so very sorry. I am out of town but will try and get back for the funeral but if I am unable to make it, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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