Nyla Mae Thatcher
May 14, 1940 – July 25, 2020
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
Nyla Mae Thatcher was born in Elgin, North Dakota, in 1940 to Oscar and Attilia Ensminger. She was the youngest of eight children. After earning an Associate of Arts degree in Medical Technology from Bismarck Jr. College, she moved to California, where she met her husband, James, in San Diego. They were married there in 1962. She worked as a nurse’s aide for most of her life. They raised four children in San Diego and moved to Clovis, CA in 2004 to be closer to family.
Nyla was a long-time member of St. James Lutheran Church in Imperial Beach, California, where all her children were confirmed. She enjoyed becoming a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Fresno when she and her husband moved here. She loved being in the Lord’s House--it brought her great peace and she was often moved to tears by the amazement of His love. She loved singing hymns and praising Her Savior. She also enjoyed wearing her signature hats on Sunday. Her faith was her life and it guided and comforted her. She passed that faith on to her children.
During her life, Nyla enjoyed baking, crafts, paper and pencil puzzles (especially Sudoku), china painting, and at the end of her life, when dementia altered her mind, the Andy Griffith show, and only the Andy Griffith show. Most of all, though, she loved and enjoyed spending time with family and friends, especially her children and grandchildren. She was a woman of quiet strength and dignity. Her joyful attitude and outlook on life brought light to all who knew her. Despite the hardships in her life (and her disability) she accepted them with grace and rarely complained or asked for help but was very independent and did so much on her own. She was a woman who was always giving to others selflessly….always giving and never asking back.
At the end of her life she clung to the Lord’s promise that He would call her home for her final healing. On July 25, 2020, her Savior answered her prayer and called her into the Eternal Life he promised her in her baptism 80 years ago.
Her beautiful life will be missed, honored, and cherished by all who knew her, especially her children and grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband, James of Fresno; her four children, Jo Ann and her husband Tony, and their children Michael and Jordan of Coppell, Texas; Janice and her husband Bruce of Loveland, Colo.; Kenneth of Orange County, Calif.; and Tracy and her husband George, and their children Jenna and Steven of Fresno, Calif.; and her brother Lester and his wife, Marlene, of Mandan, North Dakota.
Her family would like to thank all those who loved her, helped her, and befriended her--especially those at Peace Lutheran, and the Sierra Heartland and Twilight Haven communities where she and James lived in Clovis and Fresno. Heartfelt thanks also to Optimal Hospice and the many Visiting Angels who blessed her life with their love, compassion, and care.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen
Nyla Mae Thatcher
August 8, 2020
Mrs. Thatcher was the kindest, gentlest, sweetest, most amazing woman I have ever met. Her beautiful smile and her amazing laugh will live on in my heart forever. I met her daughter Tracy 32 years ago and fell in love with this family immediately. Mrs. Thatcher was like a second mother to me and always made me feel welcome and loved. The delicious goodies she made during the holidays and her amazing artwork were only two of her incredible talents. When someone has the ability to make another person smile and fill with joy by their mere presence you know that is a genuine gift from God. I will miss her greatly but I have many wonderful memories to hold onto until we meet again. Thank you Mrs. Thatcher for just being you and making this world a better place. Rest in peace sweet angel.
August 1, 2020
Nyla was just a pure source of love. I remember when my sister Rosa would take some of my daughter Patty’s Disney vhs tapes so Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher could watch them. I just wanted to be a better person when I met her. Pure love. Oh and this lady’s cooking skills were on point! Much love to you Tracy, George, Jenna and the Thatchers. Big hugs
August 1, 2020
I remember long ago my awesome friend Tracy would invite me over for holidays and her parents were always there. Her mom ALWAYS had a smile on her face, we also shared jokes. The way Tracy cared for her mom was something special to see. Tracy I love you and your family and you are always in my prayers especially now when I know your hearts are broken 💔 and your souls are rejoicing.
Sally and Rick Herrera
August 1, 2020
Nyla was one of the most sweetest ladies, we ever met. We cleaned her and James place for a couple of years, maybe more. That's how we got to know her. She was not only, someone we cleaned for, I felt like she was our friend. RIP dear sweet angel, thank you for the opportunity of getting to know you. 😇
July 31, 2020
Aunt Nyla was my youngest aunt...I’m only 6 years younger than her. Growing up, every summer we drove from Hardin, MT to Elgin, ND to spend several weeks at the Elgin Hotel which my grandparents owned. Aunt Nyla was so kind to us and would entertain us the whole time. My younger sister and I adored her! She was amazing! We especially loved watching her get ready to “paint the town” on Saturday nights with her girlfriends! She was so special to me! I loved her laugh! She was always so good to us! ♥️