Born to the parentage of Kelly Thompson, Sr. and Mary Dotson Thompson, Thelma Daniel began her life in the quiet East Texas town of Waskom. She was the eldest of 10 children. She received her formal education from Harris County Schools. In Waskom, the family attended Union Baptist church regularly which sparked what would become her life’s work and joy of serving God’s people. She began ushering at the age of 15.
She moved to Dallas, Texas in 1961 and began to work at McCalls Sportwear factory before beginning a long career at Dallas Independent School District as a sanitation engineer. On August 4, 1949, she married the love of her life, Booker T. Daniel. Three beautiful daughters were born to their union, Carolyn, Deborah and Vanessa. They proudly lived and worked in the community they served. They remained joyfully married until his death in July 1987.
She attended Mt. Carmel church under Pastor J.B. Mitchell until she moved her membership to Community First Baptist Church under the pastorage of Rev. C.H. Gerald in 1970. Pastor Gerald would affectionally call her Queenie as she willingly served on the usher board with passion, purpose and pizzazz. She continued to serve as a faithful usher at Greater Community First Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Dr. James E. Coleman and continued serving under Pastor Dr. LaCedric Williams. On any given Sunday, you would see her in uniform ready to meet and greet the people of God. She served as an usher for more than 80 years and as the usher Chaplin until her health prevented her from attending services regularly. The church honored her service April 25, 2014 with the Pioneer Award.
In her later years, she attended the Concord Senior Center where she would joyfully play dominoes and shared her love for the Dallas Cowboys. Thelma was an avid domino player and a formidable opponent. Her living room is dressed with many trophies from church, modeling and domino tournaments. She also was a smooth stepping dancer who could hang with the young and old.
She was preceded in death by both parents, Kelly Sr. and Mary; brothers, James Edward, Kelly Jr., Roy Lee, William Charles, James Lee; and sisters, Mary Alice and Geneva; son-in-law, Kenneth Mitchell; and several brothers and sisters-in-law.
Her memories will be cherished by her daughters, Carolyn Johnson, Deborah Mitchell, and Vanessa Daniel (Earl Owens); stepdaughter, Ethel Johnson; grandchildren, Kendria, Kelton, Christopher (Sarafia), Chrystal (Marc), Christian (Kaszia), Shamiki, Dayrum, Sr. (Natasha), ShaKeshia (Kedrick), LaQuasha (Myron), and Sheniqua; great-grandchildren, Krasynthia (Rashad), Lane Lee, Cameron, Bryan, Tiffaney, Ashtyn, Jayea, Aniya, Mason, Sierre’, Kourtland, Taylor, Tyler, Keiara, Jahmaya, Lyricc, Quinnaya, JaQuan, DeJane’, Dayrum, Jr., Dayvion and NaRyah; great-great grandchildren, Kaari Belle and Emerie Noelle’; siblings, Alave Deveres (Larry) and Katherine Crenshaw (Nathaniel); sisters-in-law, Mary Ann Thompson and Azzie Daniel; brother-in-law, Leroy Jackson; goddaughters, Berthena Williams and Lisa Wheelock.; and a host of nieces, nephews and extended family.
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