RUSK— Catherine Ann Thedford, maiden name Bell, a long-time resident of Rusk, passed away Tuesday the 7th of June at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas, following a brief illness.
Born on March 9th, 1934, to Charlie (Dick) Bell and Grace Ross Bell, Catherine was delivered at home by Dr. T. H. Cobble. She attended Bulah Schools until she entered Rusk High School, where she excelled in basketball, art and was voted "Most Beautiful" by her graduating class of 1953. She worked at Chapman's Pharmacy as a clerk and soda jerk. At Rusk High School she met Edwin A. Thedford, and they married after her graduation in 1953 at First Baptist, Rusk and remained married until his death in 1986.
As a married couple they spent many years in Houston, Texas, where Catherine was a phone operator for Bell Telephone, until their three children were born and she chose to stay at home for several years. Edwin and Catherine returned to Rusk, Texas in 1967 to raise their children and she remained in Rusk for the remainder of her life, working at the Matthew-Miller Department Store for 12 years and later retiring from Rusk State Hospital as a Service Tech.
Catherine was a very active volunteer in her home town of Rusk. She attended, First Baptist Church, and provided food for the Nursing Home Luncheons served monthly to residents of local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She was a member of the Sardis Seekers Women's Bible Study group and completed many community services projects with the group, volunteered at The Good Samaritan and was a Pink Lady for the local hospital.
Catherine loved nothing more than spending time with her sister, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends who she loved dearly and always remembered with "goodie bags" of their favorite little snacks, toys and necessities. She was known as "Mom", "Udder Mudder", "MiMi", "Aunt Cat", "Grandma Mrs. Thedford" and "Sister" by the countless people that she loved and those whose lives she touched. She was a breast cancer survivor and truly brought a warm glow, encouragement and a quiet comforting smile wherever she went.
Catherine is survived by her sister Wanda Choate of Rusk, a sister-in-law Bernadine Dawson of Jacksonville, a brother-in-law Jack Robison of Springfield, Missouri, a daughter Patricia McDuff and her Husband Mike of Waco, son David Thedford and his wife Vanessa of Jacksonville, daughter DeAnne Pearson and her husband Steve of Austin. She is also survived by grandchildren, Kayla King of Hewitt, Amanda Stanaland and her husband Christopher of Nacogdoches, Grant Thedford and his wife Brittany of Rusk, Andrea Morris and her husband Dewayne of Gallatin, and Chris and Haley Pearson of Austin. Catherine also had three great grandchildren, Kade, Lily and Corbin Stanaland of Nacogdoches. She will also be missed by many nieces and nephews.
Preceding Catherine in death by her husband, her parents, a nephew, Kelly Bryan Choate, brother- in-law, Donald Dawson; and sister-in-law, Eva Wynell Robison.
Pallbearers will include Robert Choate, T.J. Choate, Dewayne Morris, Sam Bell, Kenny Birdwell and Edward Starling. Honorary pallbearers will be grandsons Grant Thedford and Chris Pearson and greatgrandsons, Corbin and Kade Stanaland, also Charlie Robison, Bill Cromer and Larry Sinclair.
Visitation will be held at Walllace-Thompson Funeral Home 221 W. Fifth Street, Rusk, TX 75785 from 6 PM- 8 PM on Friday, June 10th, 2016. Funeral Services will be held at First Baptist Church of Rusk at 372 East 4th Street with Rev. Don Copeland and Rev. Rodney McDuff officiating at 1 PM Saturday, June 11th, 2016.
Burial will be following the services at Sardis-Edgefield Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to the following: Sardis-Edgefield Preservation Fund 8217 FM 1857, Rusk, TX 75785, Sardis Seekers Women's Bible Study Group Community Projects Ministry C/O Lynn Stanley 9771 FM 1857, Rusk, TX 75785, First Baptist Church Rusk, Texas, Nursing Home Luncheon Fund, 372 East 4th Street Rusk, Texas 75785.
Published on June 9, 2016