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Thelma L. (Decker) VanDine

March 19, 1917 ~ January 22, 2022 (age 104)


Thelma L. VanDine, age 104, passed into the presence of Jesus on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 6:33 pm. When asked about her secret of long life, Thelma said that her faith had taught her to trust in God instead of worrying about things she could not control and to have a grateful attitude. “A cheerful heart is good medicine.”

Thelma was born in Clinton County, Indiana, on March 19, 1917 to Walter and Luella (Rice) Decker. She had one brother, Tom Decker, and three sisters, Wilma (Decker) Rice, Darel (Decker) Tipmore, and Phyllis (Decker) Helmberger. Thelma’s parents and all her siblings preceded her in death.

Thelma was married to Dean VanDine on July 4, 1936 in Frankfort, Indiana, and celebrated 61 years of marriage. In order to find work during the Great Depression they moved to Detroit, Michigan, and lived there for 50 years.

Dean and Thelma had four children: Walter (Dorcas) VanDine, Joe (Evelyn) VanDine, David (Jean) VanDine, and Pat (Jim) Ankney. Dean, Walter, and David preceded Thelma in death. Thelma had 9 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 9 great-great-grandchildren. A grandson, Jon VanDine preceded her in death.

Surviving are her son Joe (Evelyn) VanDine of Sarasota, Florida, daughter-in-law Dorcas (Barry) Ross of Brooksville, Florida, daughter-in-law Jean VanDine of South Rockford, Michigan, and daughter Pat (Jim) Ankney of Waterloo, Indiana.

After her husband died, Thelma lived in Brooksville, Florida, at the Wesleyan Retirement Village. She became the village seamstress and had many friends. She moved to Indiana to live with her daughter in the summer of 2021. During her few month’s time there, Thelma had over 90 visitors. She was loved by everyone who knew her.

There will be no calling, but family and friends may leave messages of condolences on the website of the Deal-Rice Funeral Home in Huntington, Indiana. A celebration of life service is being planned for a later date.

The family requests that no flowers be sent.  The request below is part of the website and not their obituary.  

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