December 3, 2002

Ms. Thelma Crossland

Yesterday I went to the funeral of Ms. Thelma. She was 90 years old and died at DCH November 30, 2002. She was put to rest at Bethabara Baptist Church on Hwy. 171.

Tears come to my eyes when I think of this beautiful lady. Her whole life was spent working or playing with children. I remember when I was a child at Brownville, she was the Sunday school teacher. She would give you a little porcelain doll if you came every Sunday. She was always involved in the community, at school, church or during the summer. Especially at Halloween she always planned to have a good time. Back then people had no costumes like they do today. Costumes were made by using old clothes or anything you could find to look tacky or funny. People enjoyed her coming around trick or treating because they could always get a good laugh. She would laugh so hard, she shook all over. I remember one year she made a man, stuffed him, dressed him up and took him around with her. She told everyone it was her man. I could hear people talking about it days later, laughing and asking if they had seen Thelma’s man. When Thelma laughed her belly shook and she didn't care, she would laugh even harder.

There was lots of good things said about her at the funeral. Her love for her husband, L.M., and her two boys, Hershel and Seaborn. She had a special love for children. Kids were always welcome at her house. I remember going to her house and cooking cakes, cupcakes or making candy. We would sell them to make money to go on trips. She would furnish the ingredients and we would save up the money. She would ask people to take us. We always had a good time and she did too. Back then the recreation consisted of tacky parties, cake walks, gospel singings, plays or skits, political rallies, or box suppers, and later on we had some movies. Most all of this took place at the old Brownville community building. The building was used for everything. When I look back at some of the pictures, she was always in them. Because she spent most of her time trying to provide entertainment for kids. This was her way of keeping kids out of trouble.

After she and her family left Brownville, she started going to church at Bethabara. She did the same things with young people there. Everyone loved her. The preacher said while she was in the Nursing Home, she spent her time lifting the spirits of the ones there. He said he was going to write a book and Ms. Thelma was gonna be in that book.

The day of the funeral I didn't feel too good but I decided to go anyway. And I’m proud I went. I felt like I owed this lady something. I'll never be able to repay her for the good times, she helped us kids enjoy as a child.

Doris Odom