Thelma Arlene Dickerson born March 10, 1933, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma passed peacefully at age 86 on Friday, October 18th in Purcell, Oklahoma.
Thelma grew up on the family farm in Piedmont Oklahoma. During her life she had many passions, careers & hobbies. From helping her own mother on the farm as a girl, to becoming a homemaker of her own. She then went onto many management positions in hotel management and hospitality services. During her career in hotel management she built many relationships with the country music industry. She was Secretary/Treasure of the Oklahoma Country Music Association. For a time, she even filled in as a DJ on Oklahoma Country Music Station KEBC.
At one point she met song writer, Tommie Collins, to whom she told a story about being raised on a farm in Piedmont OK. He wrote a song about his friend Thelma, “The Roots of My Raisin’ Run Deep” which was later recorded by Merle Haggard. During her time as a hotel manager and member of the OCMA she met and became friends with many artists in country music, Henson Cargill, Mel Tillis, Roy Clark, Buck Owens, Conway Twitty, and many more.
But as the song about her says, her heart longed for a small town to raise her family which led her to Purcell Oklahoma where she spent the remainder of her life. Thelma returned to the roots of her raisin’ and became known for her 1-acre vegetable garden, great cooking, weekend lake life at Lake Texoma and becoming a friend to every person she met. If you had a chance to meet and know Thelma and perhaps if you were having had a bad day, chances are you got a great hug and her promise that, “Tomorrow will always be better”.
Thelma was preceded in death by her parents Floyd & Blanche Dickerson, her sister Alice Mehlig, her brother Gerald Dickerson, her sister-in-law Jan Dickerson, her son Kenny Johnson, her nephew Floyd Dickerson and her great nephew Aaron Hendrix. Thelma is survived by her brother Kenneth Dickerson of Piedmont OK, her sister-in-law Lois Dickerson of Piedmont OK, her son Carl Johnson and wife Barbara of Sunrise FL, her son Greg Johnson of Pennsylvania, her daughter Kristi Nimmo and husband Glen of Purcell OK, her daughter Karla Gilmore and husband Chris of Broken Arrow OK.
Thelma’s pride and joy were her grandchildren, Christi Abrue, Timmy Johnson, Melissa Scott, Melanie Fernandez, Tyler Gilmore, Austin Gilmore and Paige Gilmore. Thelma is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Services for Thelma are as follows:
Ingram, Smith & Turner Mortuary
201 E. Main St. Yukon OK
Public Viewing Thursday October 24th 11-1:30pm
Memorial Service 2:00pm
Interment Kansas Cemetery