Mrs. Thelma L. Fleming
November 8, 1940 – October 6, 2019
Thelma Lee Richards Fleming was born on November 8, 1940 Many (Sabine Parish), Louisiana. She was the firstborn to Felton George Richards, Sr. and Rosie Lee Maxie Richards. At a young age, she united with New Jerusalem Baptist Church and was baptized by her pastor Rev. W. M. Garner. Her formal education was obtained from attending elementary, intermediate, and high schools in Many, Louisiana. She graduated from Sabine High School in 1958. The following fall, Thelma became a freshman at Grambling College which later became Grambling State University. During her freshman year she participated in social and extracurricular activities. She was presented by the Psi Beta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in the 1959 Annual Debutante Cotillion.
Thelma worked with the library staff as a student assistant throughout her college tenure. After successfully fulfilling all requirements at Grambling, Thelma graduated with a degree in Library Science and a minor in elementary education. She received a Masters Degree in Library Science and Information from East Texas State University (Commerce, Texas) in 1982.
Her career path began in West Helena, Arkansas (1962) as an elementary teacher. Afterwards, she worked three years at J.S. Clark Jr. High in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1969 she relocated to Dallas where she became employed as a librarian/Media Specialist with the Dallas Independent School District for over 32 years. Among the campuses where Thelma worked (in Dallas ISD) were Phyllis Wheatley, R.C. Burleson, Winnetka S.S. Connor, and Kennedy/Curry.
Her role as an educator extended beyond the four walls of the school. It was not uncommon to see her providing clothing, shoes and supplies for the children that she served. Thelma was a long time member of the Texas State Teachers Association and remained involved with the Texas Library Association after retirement.
After retirement in 1999, Thelma became a faithful caretaker for her dad until his death. Then she began to enjoy her love for traveling and volunteering. She visited Cancun, United States Virgin Islands, Canada, Jamaica, and her favorite, Hawaii. She also worked fervently with her neighborhood association and voter registration.
As a follower of Christ, Thelma was a member for more than 38 years at Friendship West Baptist Church. She actively served with the ARJ Community as well as with the Bereavement Community. Thelma also used her library skills as a volunteer in the church book store. Thelma Fleming departed this life on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at Charlton Methodist Hospital. She was welcomed into her eternal home in glory by her parents, Rosie and Felton Richards and one brother, Felton Richards, Jr.
Thelma leaves to cherish her memory, one son, Donald L. Fleming; three sisters, Felonese L. Whitaker, Floretha Lofton (Donald) and Eunice McNeir; one grandson, Jacob Belk; loving friend, James E. Moore and a host of nieces, nephews, family, and friends.
- Donald L. Fleming, Son
- Felonese L. Whitaker, Sister
- Floretha Lofton, Sister
- Donald Lofton, Brother-in-law
- Eunice McNeir, Sister
- Jacob Belk, Grandson
- James E. Moore, Loving Friend
- Felton George Richards, Sr., Father (deceased)
- Rosie Lee Maxie Richards, Mother (deceased)
- Felton George Richards, Jr., Brother (deceased)
- and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.
- Eric Renfro, Active Pallbearer
- Kenyon Terrell, Active Pallbearer
- Derrick Richards, Active Pallbearer
- Thomas Bowers, Active Pallbearer
- James E. Moore, Honorary Bearer
- Gerald Ellis, Honorary Pallbearer
- Donald Lofton, Honorary Bearer
- Oliver McCoy, Honorary Pallbearer
- Visitation Friday, October 11, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, October 12, 2019
Mrs. Thelma L. Fleming
Yolanda S Richards
October 11, 2019
To the entire Family (The Richards ), of my dear cousin Thelma Lee;
It is with great sadness that I express my condolences for the transitioning of my dear cousin, Thelma Lee. I cherish the many early memories of my sister, Gwen and myself flying in to Shreveport, Louisiana from Washington, DC. , to spend the summer with our Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins in Grambling, Pine Flat/Red Land, and Dallas Texas. The highlight of our summer was Dallas, where we would start out with Thelma Lee picking Gwen and I up from Uncle Felton's and taking us everywhere. She loved on us all summer along with Floreatha, Unice, and "Bubbles". My late Mother(Thelma), and I were blessed to see her here for Obama's inauguration. Her loving and kind/gentle ways will always be remembered and cherished in my heart. May God bless and comfort you during this difficult time of loss. We love you all!
October 11, 2019
My condolences and wonderful memories go out to this wonderful family. Thelma Lee was our first cousin and my sister and I truly loved her. Her personality was just like gold. She was a very loving, giving and caring individual. She would always put herself last to help others. We were blessed to have wonderful cousins but she was extra special. We are very upset that we will not be able to make the services. God now has her in His loving arms. She is now with God and the angels. We can rest in knowing that. Love you so much Thelma Lee. Gwen and Yolanda Richards - Washington, DC