Thelma Mabel (Edwards) Belyea, 99, formerly of Ammonoosuc Street, Woodsville, N.H., died on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at the Grafton County Nursing Home, North Haverhill, N.H., just days before her 100th birthday, surrounded by her family.
Thelma was born in Thetford Mines, Quebec, on Oct. 7, 1921, to Harley W. and Orphie B. (Amidon) Edwards. At the age of 2, the family moved to Groton, Vt. In her senior year of high school, Thelma was named the highest scorer in the State of Vermont for the 1940 girls basketball season. She scored 263 points in ten games. One clipping is entitled “Edwards 26- Cabot 0.” (We accused her of being a ball hog!) She went on to graduate from Groton High School in 1940.
Following graduation, she ventured off to Mary Fletcher School of Nursing in Burlington, Vt., but all of the chemicals she came into contact with caused her eczema to be out of control, so she had to withdraw. What a wonderful nurse she would have been!
In the early 1940s, she and her best friend from high school, Bernardine Eastman ventured to Brooklyn to work at the Sperry Gyroscope Company, making aviation navigation instruments for the war effort.
Also, in the 1940s, she and another best friend, Dot Gould, headed for Sacramento, Calif., to live and work. Upon returning locally, she worked at Thomas Pharmacy, T. Borden Walker’s, the hot lunch program at Woodsville Elementary School, and for Dr. Eastman as his bookkeeper.
On July 1, 1950, she married Robert L. Belyea.
Thelma was a long-time member of the Woodsville United Methodist Church, the Girls Club, assisted with church suppers, and along with teaching Sunday School, served as the Superintendent for many years. She was a member of the Sunshine Bowling League for many years. She also enjoyed going to all the ball games for her children and grandchildren.
She loved games and excelled at them all … cornhole, ping pong, horseshoes (pitching into her 80s), badminton, ladder ball, carpetball, and of course, HORSE and “around the world” in basketball. Everyone wanted nana on their team. Over the years, Thelma must have played over 1,000 games of cribbage.
Along with her husband, Bob, she traveled across Canada and visited every state except Hawaii.
Thelma Belyea was the most loving, kind, thoughtful mom and nana in the world.
She was predeceased by her husband, Robert “Bob” Belyea on Jan. 18, 2015; her son, Robert Michael “Doc” Belyea on June 30, 2018; her brother, Lyle Harley Edwards Sr. on March 24, 2018, and his wife, Ellen Bailey Edwards on Jan. 16, 2021; her sister in law, Frances Edwards on Aug. 22, 2003; and her brother in law, Paul Tinkham on June 7, 2020.
Thelma is survived by her daughter, Kathy Hatch of Woodsville, N.H.; three sons, Peter Belyea and wife Wanda of North Haverhill, James Belyea and wife Theresa of Bath, N.H., and David Belyea and wife Juanita also of Bath; a daughter-in-law Jean Belyea of Monroe, N.H.; 17 grandchildren: Jennifer, Chad, Adam, Kim, Ryan, Kyle, Faith, Gina, Jaclyn, Jessica, Cayman, Sheena, Jordan, Danielle, Miranda, Brianna and Erica; 12 great-grandchildren: Nicholas, Ana, Landon, Madison, Lucy, Ava, Austin, Toby, Teddy, Cooper, Harper, and Leo; her sister, Ruby Tinkham of Groton; her brother, Leslie Edwards and wife Bonnie also of Groton; along with nieces, nephews and cousins.
Calling hours will be on Thursday, Sept. 16 from 6-8 p.m. at Ricker Funeral Home, 1 Birch Street, Woodsville, NH.
A funeral service will be on Friday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. in the Woodsville United Methodist Church, Maple Street, Woodsville, with Rev. David Palmer, officiating.
Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery, Swiftwater Road, Woodsville.
Memorial contributions may be made to either the Woodsville United Methodist Church, c/o Mrs. Paula House, PO Box 282, Woodsville, NH 03785 or to the Grafton County Nursing Home Activities Department, 3855 Dartmouth College Highway, North Haverhill, NH 03774.
For more information or to offer an online condolence, please visit www.richerfh.com
Ricker Funeral Home & Cremation Care of Woodsville is in charge of arrangements.