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Thelma Claudia Bentley Alden
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Birth: Dec. 24, 1904
King County
Washington, USA
Death: Oct. 6, 1981
Red Bluff
Tehama County
California, USA

Thelma Claudia BENTLEY was the daughter of Alice May BRAZIER BENTLEY RICHESON and her first husband, Francis Earl BENTLEY.

Thelma's biological father Francis listed himself as a painter on their marriage return when he married Alice in 1904. Years later, when he had returned to his home in New York state, he was an upholsterer who owned his own shop. The marriage with Alice lasted ten years or less and ended in divorce, probably because they only married when they found they were expecting a child. It is unclear whether they ever actually lived together before they were divorced - Francis' name does not appear on Vancouver City directories, and Alice and their child Thelma are known to have lived with her mother. By 1907 Francis had enlisted in the army out of PA.

Francis Earl BENTLEY returned to the east, first to PA , the state both his parents were from, and then to Batavia, Genesee Co, NY where he remained. He married Pauline J. BENTLEY, with whom he had a son named after him who served in WW II. Alice BENTLEY subsequently married Austin RICHESON in 1915. Alice and Austin raised Thelma BENTLEY along with her half-sister Mary and half-brother John. It seems unlikely Thelma and her half-brother Francis BENTLEY ever knew or visited one another.

By 1910 Thelma was living in Vancouver Ward 2 with her mother Alice in the Vancouver, Clark Co, WA home of Alice's mother, Anna (CONLIN) BRAZIER STUART. By this time Thelma's mother Alice worked as a switchboard operator for the Pacific Telegraph and Telephone company and her grandmother Anna owned a ladies' dress business which she probably ran out of her home. According to the census, Anna STUART was head of house. This is probably because Anna's second husband, Geary J. STUART, was officially stationed nearby at Vancouver Barracks.

In 1910 Thelma and her mother Alice were also living with Alice's sister, Ashley BRAZIER BISSENER, age 23, widow of John BISSENER, and Alice's half-sister Myrtle STUART, age 14.

In 1920 Thelma was 15 and lived with her mother Alice and stepfather Austin Bresnen RICHESON. By this time the family had moved to Portland, OR. Austin was a WW I vet who went to work for the Oregonian newspaper and later became an administrator for the Veterans Bureau, followed by the Social Security office, both in Portland, OR. He and Alice had two children together, a daughter Mary and a son John.

In 1922 at age 18 Thelma married WW I veteran George C. ALDEN, a native Oregonian born about 1900. George was the son of a Columbia River steamboat captain. On the 1930 census they are listed as living in Portland, Multnomah Co, OR. George's occupation at that time was salesman for an insurance company. He later became a building inspector.

Some time prior to 1954 the ALDENS had moved from OR to southern CA. In 1954 Thelma and George moved to Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co, CA where they remained until George's death. There is a Thelma ALDEN listed in the 1979 California Courts and Judges Handbook, on page 51, under Senior Judges: Courtroom Deputies. I am not sure at this time if this is Thelma Claudia ALDEN. George died in Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co, CA on 2 Jan 1973. Thelma later moved to Red Bluff, CA, possibly to live with or near one of her children, and died in Tehama Co.

Their known children:

1) John Alden b. 1925 D. 1942.

2) Priscilla Alden Aceves b. 1927 D. 2007.

3) Joan Clair Alden Hawkins b. 1930 D. March 1986.

Thelma, George, Priscilla and Joan are all buried at Santa Rosa Memorial Park.

At the time of her death Thelma had two daughters, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Her husband George and son John had died earlier.

Sources: Federal census, CA Death index, CA Courts and Judges Handbook, Social Security death index. 
Family links: 
  Francis Earl Bentley (1882 - 1958)
  Alice May Brazier Richeson (1885 - 1960)
  George C. Alden (1900 - 1973)
  John Milo Alden (1925 - 1942)*
  Priscilla Alden Aceves (1926 - 2007)*
  Joan Clair Alden Hawkins (1930 - 1986)*
  Thelma Claudia Bentley Alden (1904 - 1981)
  Alice Mary Richeson Anderson (1917 - 1997)**
  John Austin Richeson (1922 - 2001)**
*Calculated relationship
Santa Rosa Memorial Park
Santa Rosa
Sonoma County
California, USA
Plot: Veterans Lawn, Lot 1302, grave 3B
Created by: D. Goodboe
Record added: Feb 14, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24621251
Thelma Claudia <i>Bentley</i> Alden
Added by: D. Goodboe
Thelma Claudia <i>Bentley</i> Alden
Added by: D. Goodboe
Thelma Claudia <i>Bentley</i> Alden
Added by: D. Goodboe
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