Elizabeth Thiele passed away on Oct. 2, 2009, in Mesa, Ariz., from complications of old age. Born to Edward and Ellen Rachel “Nellie” Mirts on June 4, 1912, in Fulton, Mo., she was in the 1929 graduating class of Fulton High School. After graduation, she was employed by Southwestern Bell as a switchboard operator, and later at Ovid Bell Press as a proof reader.
She married Judson F. Thiele of St. Louis, Mo., on March 4, 1933. To this union, three children were born: Judith, Fred and Carol. In 1945, they left Fulton because they had purchased the independent telephone exchange in Pagosa Springs. During her years in Pagosa, she was active in the Women’s Civic Club, the Rebekah Lodge and the Methodist church. She was one of the founders of the Pagosa Springs chapter of Beta Sigma Phi of which she was a member for over 60 years. In addition to these organizations, she raised a family and took part in all their activities, and at night she was the phone company’s switchboard operator.
After Jud suffered a heart attack in 1956, the family moved to their ranch in Allison. Then in 1958, the family moved to Tempe, Ariz., where they lived until 1972. During this time, she was active in her children’s activities, the Tempe Methodist church and Beta Sigma Phi. In 1972, Jud and Elizabeth returned to their Allison ranch full time. During the coldest months, they traveled the world extensively. After the death of her husband in 2002, she returned to the Tempe area where she enjoyed activities at her retirement community.
Elizabeth is survived by her daughters Judith (Clifford) Smart of St. Louis, Mo., and Carol Thiele of Allison; son Fred Thiele of Gilbert, Ariz.; “adopted” daughter Barbara Miller-Trimble, granddaughters Kellie Gamboa and Elizabeth Smart, and great-grandson Royal Slater. Three sisters preceded her in death. She was a devoted wife and loving mother, grandmother and aunt and will be missed by all who knew her. She loved her family and the many friends she made through the years, especially her sisters in Beta Sigma Phi.
A private burial service was held in Fulton, Mo. Memorials may be sent to the Allison Community Church.