Jul. 16, 1927 LaFayette Onondaga County New York, USA
May 16, 2011 LaFayette Onondaga County New York, USA
Thelma Jane (Bush) Field May 16, 2011.
Thelma Jane (Bush) Field, 83, of LaFayette, died peacefully on Monday, May 16, 2011, at home, with her loving family by her side. As so aptly stated on her personal business card, Thelma was a pack rat extraordinaire, a certified senior citizen, a patient listener, a book lover and an amateur genealogist, tracing her Bush and Colton family lines back many centuries. As well as a Conservative, a Republican, pro-life and a politically incorrect European American who took the Colton motto and guiding principle - Never Despair - to heart, Thelma was also a mother, grandmother, great- grandmother, cancer survivor and friend to all who knew her. Thelma was born July 16, 1927, on Colton Road in LaFayette, New York, and at the age of 18 months, she was stricken with polio that affected the muscles in her legs and her ability to walk. She underwent therapy up to the age of 5 and in her later years suffered from the debilitating effects of post-polio syndrome. In 1944, Thelma graduated from the LaFayette School District, and the next day she went to work at General Electric in Syracuse, testing cockpit electronics for the World War II B29 bomber. Shortly after that she headed west to work as a messenger on the Alameda Naval Base in California. On May 31, 1945, Thelma Jane Bush and Arnold Henderson Field were married in Oakland, California, and later as World War II came to a close, she moved back to LaFayette to begin raising a family. A daughter, Dorinda Blythe Field, was born in 1948, followed by a son, Travis Craig Field, in 1952. In 1955 Thelma and Arnie became foster parents and raised Robert Dennis Cross, Linda Jean Cross, Arthur Robert Cross and Roy Joseph Cook to adulthood. They became one family, all living by the same rules and expectations. After her children were grown, Thelma again joined the workforce, holding many jobs, some paid, some not. She was an election poll worker, a Welcome Wagon greeter and a Census taker, and in 1969 Thelma went to work for Marine Midland Services Corporation at the Syracuse Data Center in North Syracuse, New York. She started out as an MDS data entry operator then became a payroll clerk, a tape librarian and finally a microfilm technician, a position she retired from in 1992. In the late 1970s, Thelma and Arnie traveled to Europe; it was her one and only trip overseas. One of the highlights of her trip was a visit to the town of Mettenheim, Germany, the ancestral home of Georg Conradt Busch, of whom she is a direct descendant and who settled in Onondaga County following the Revolutionary War. In 1998 Thelma successfully petitioned and obtained approvals from the U.S. Geological Service, the Oneida Indian Nation and the Onondaga Nation to have an unnamed stream that flowed through the family homestead on Colton Road named after her father. It is now known as Dell Bush Stream. Thelma was a member of the Home Bureau, a 4-H Club leader, a charter member of the Central New York Genealogical Society, an amateur rock hound and a voracious reader of all books - religious, political, medical and criminal. Thelma also played the piano and the accordion. But above all else, Thelma loved her time spent at her camp on Lake Ontario, enjoying the sounds of the waves, the sunsets and jigsaw puzzles. Thelma was predeceased by her father, Adelbert Washington Bush, in 1962; her mother, Mettie Alice Colton, in 1970; a son, Arthur Robert Cross, in 1971; her former husband, Arnold Henderson Field, in 2009; and a great- grandson, Keith Ochsner, in 2009. Thelma is survived by her daughters, Dorinda (Richard) Finch of LaFayette, New York, and Linda (Mike) Zimpfer of Delmar, New York; her sons, Travis Field, Robert (Bernice) Cross and Roy Cook, all of LaFayette, New York; her granddaughters, Mellissa Finn, Nichol Ochsner, Lisa Abbey, Jennifer Ochsner, Aimee Cook and Kimberly Cook; her grandsons, Richard Finch II, Aaron Field and Drew Field; eight great-grandchildren; as well as her longtime family friend Robert Aiken. Always a teacher and always interested in the medical profession, and a consummate debater of doctors and their decisions, it was Thelma's wish that her body be donated for scientific research and teaching at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. A memorial service honoring Thelma will be held at Pompey Community Church on Saturday, May 28, 2011, at 11 a.m. Following the service a reception will be held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1955 on Route 11 in LaFayette. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Thelma's memory to Pompey Community Church at the corner of Route 20 and 2555 Berwyn Road, P.O. Box 27, Pompey, NY 13138.
Published in Syracuse Post Standard on May 22, 2011.
Burial: Body donated to medical science Specifically: It was Thelma's wish that her body be donated for scientific research and teaching at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.