Forever In the Hearts They Leave Behind

Thelma Ilene Braafhart

Passed Away on July 26, 2018


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Thelma Ilene Braafhart peacefully passed away at the age of 93 on September 2, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. Thelma was born on March 26, 1927, in Knoxville, Iowa. She was the only child of Harry Wesely Thompson and Cleo Imogene Thompson (Beaman). Thelma graduated from Knoxville High School in Knoxville, Iowa on May 18, 1944. After high school, Thelma worked as a medical secretary at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Knoxville, Iowa. Following the war, Thelma married her high school sweetheart, Casper Edward Braafhart on November 29, 1947, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were happily married and celebrated 69 years together before Casper’s passing on September 29, 2017. After marriage, Thelma and Casper spent most of their time in Long Beach, California where she worked as a school secretary. She and Casper then moved to Mesa, Arizona in the mid-50’s with their first daughter, Debra. Shortly thereafter, Thelma gave birth to their second child, Terri. She continued the rest of her life as a homemaker raising her two beautiful girls as well as caring for many of her grandchildren. Thelma’s love for music was evident throughout her entire life. Thelma was a highly talented saxophonist in her dance band “Top Hatters” in the 1940’s where she performed in front of thousands of people. She was also an accomplished dancer from the early 1930’s all the way to the late 1990’s. She performed everything from acrobatics, tap dancing, and ballroom/Latin, to round dancing and square dancing. Thelma was also a tremendous seamstress, making numerous dance outfits and Halloween costumes for her and her family. She also loved spending time in their motorhome traveling the United States and visiting her dear friends back home in Knoxville, Iowa. Thelma is survived by her two daughters, Debra Ann Norris (Braafhart), Terri Ann Caves (Braafhart), 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Thelma will be remembered for her love of family, love of Iowa, her intelligence, creativity, beautiful dancing, and loyalty to her husband. Thelma’s viewing will be held at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery (7900 East Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85207) at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2020, with a service of remembrance and hope at 10:00 a.m. Immediately following the service, Thelma will be laid to rest alongside her beloved Casper in the mausoleum on the premises.

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Thelma Ilene Braafhart

Passed Away on July 26, 2018


Share Obituary:

Send Flowers Print Obituary

Thelma Ilene Braafhart peacefully passed away at the age of 93 on September 2, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. Thelma was born on March 26, 1927, in Knoxville, Iowa. She was the only child of Harry Wesely Thompson and Cleo Imogene Thompson (Beaman). Thelma graduated from Knoxville High School in Knoxville, Iowa on May 18, 1944. After high school, Thelma worked as a medical secretary at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Knoxville, Iowa. Following the war, Thelma married her high school sweetheart, Casper Edward Braafhart on November 29, 1947, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were happily married and celebrated 69 years together before Casper’s passing on September 29, 2017. After marriage, Thelma and Casper spent most of their time in Long Beach, California where she worked as a school secretary. She and Casper then moved to Mesa, Arizona in the mid-50’s with their first daughter, Debra. Shortly thereafter, Thelma gave birth to their second child, Terri. She continued the rest of her life as a homemaker raising her two beautiful girls as well as caring for many of her grandchildren. Thelma’s love for music was evident throughout her entire life. Thelma was a highly talented saxophonist in her dance band “Top Hatters” in the 1940’s where she performed in front of thousands of people. She was also an accomplished dancer from the early 1930’s all the way to the late 1990’s. She performed everything from acrobatics, tap dancing, and ballroom/Latin, to round dancing and square dancing. Thelma was also a tremendous seamstress, making numerous dance outfits and Halloween costumes for her and her family. She also loved spending time in their motorhome traveling the United States and visiting her dear friends back home in Knoxville, Iowa. Thelma is survived by her two daughters, Debra Ann Norris (Braafhart), Terri Ann Caves (Braafhart), 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Thelma will be remembered for her love of family, love of Iowa, her intelligence, creativity, beautiful dancing, and loyalty to her husband. Thelma’s viewing will be held at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery (7900 East Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85207) at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2020, with a service of remembrance and hope at 10:00 a.m. Immediately following the service, Thelma will be laid to rest alongside her beloved Casper in the mausoleum on the premises.

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