Thelma Marie Aaen, passed peacefully into heaven on March 24, 2019 at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, California. Her long life and freely-given love were gifts and blessings to all who knew her and loved her. She was 102.
Thelma was born in the German Village section of Columbus, Ohio. She grew up with three siblings in a loving and caring Catholic family. She graduated in 1934 from South High School and was married in 1938. In Columbus, she worked for the White-Haines Optical Company and attended St. Paul’s Evangelical and Reformed Church.
In 1948, she and her daughter moved to Southern California, settling in Hawthorne, near Los Angeles. She worked as a court reporter and later joined Campbell-Mithun Advertising, working as an office manager and executive secretary to the vice president of the Los Angeles office at Hollywood Blvd. and Vine St. She and her daughter attended Crenshaw Methodist Church where Thelma was active in a number of ways, including serving as the president of a professional women’s organization — the Wesleyan Service Guild.
In 1965, she decided to make a trip to Hawaii, sponsored by her new employer, Northrup Corp. On her travels, she met Palmer Aaen, who would become her husband. Thelma and Palmer were active members of the First Presbyterian Church in Gardena, and there they established friendships that would last decades. She was a devoted wife and caregiver to Palmer in his later years, and after his passing, her relationships with neighbors and family kept her busy — often including good conversation in a corner booth at the Marie Calendar’s restaurant on Redondo Beach Blvd.
Thelma will be truly missed by her large, extended family that starts with her daughter: Julia (husband Edward) and grandchildren: Elena (Eric), Michael (Jenni), Steven (Farhana) and Julia (Kent, deceased). Thelma’s parents, Joseph and Clara Burke, and her three siblings: Rosemary, Dolores and Joseph Jr. passed away before Thelma, and she is also survived by her nieces: Cheryl (David), Christine (Andy), Arin (Scott) and her nephew Ryan (Bree). Thelma is also survived by her six great grandchildren: Elijah, Dylan, Kathryn, Nathanael, Madison and Georgia.
A funeral mass in celebration of Thelma’s life will be held at Saint John Fisher Catholic Church in Rancho Palos Verdes on Friday, July 19, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Reception to follow at the church.