Mt. Vernon Register-News


May 21, 2013

Thelma Bumpus


Thelma Louise Bumpus, age 89, from Bonnie, died peacefully at Mt. Vernon Countryside Manor in Mt. Vernon at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2013. She died from liver failure due to a tumor-like mass in her liver. At the time of her death she had lived more than 16 years at Mt. Vernon Countryside Manor, longer than any other resident.

She was born on Monday, July 16, 1923, in Bonnie, the last child of William Authur Hayes and Nellie Marie (Robertson) Hayes. She married Robert Eugene Bumpus in 1942, in St. Louis. They seperated in 1965 and were divorced in 1968. Robert preceded Thelma in death on May 9, 2005.

Thelma was born in the 'Big House', which was built by her grandfather Hayes and which is the two-story house that has the current address of 265 Route 37 in Bonnie. When she was about nine years old, she moved with her family to the farm immediately north of the Bonnie Holiness Campground. She graduated from Bonnie Grade School and the three year Bonnie High School. Thelma worked at the Western Cartridge Company munitions plant during World War II. She played on the company sponsored semi-professional women's softball team. The local newspaper ran a sports story entitled "Bumpus Starts a Rumpus" which told how she hit two home runs in a game and led her team to victory. After the War, she lived on a farm about a mile east of Bonnie, was a homemaker and raised a family. About 1964, she returned to work as a nurse's aide at Hickory Grove Manor, Memorial Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital. She then obtained her certificate as a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1970. She subsequently worked 20 years to the day at the military hospital on Scott Air Force Base, from which she retired. After retirement Thelma travelled with her sister Margueritte, raised many gardens, quilted, took care of her two sisters and went fishing (which she enjoyed tremendously). On March 7, 1996, she had an aneurysm and stroke which left her paralyzed in her right arm and leg.

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