OBITUARY

Thelma Lee Stone

June 5, 1928March 6, 2017

ODESSA – Thelma Lee Stone, age 88, went to be with her Heavenly Father on Monday, March 6, 2017 in Odessa. She was born in Bryson ,TX on June 5, 1928. She was the daughter of the late Ernest & Jewell Rhodes. After graduation from Jacksboro High School in 1946, Thelma moved into town where she worked as a file clerk for a butane company, and where she met and married the love of her life and soul mate, Robert “Bob” E. Stone on December 20, 1947. They were married 52 wonderful years before Bob passed away October 25, 2000. Their love and devotion to one another was a perfect picture of a godly marriage. Whether it was the early days of Thelma riding on the back of a motorcycle with Bob at the handlebars, or spending long summer evenings feeding all the stray cats at their Brownwood summer home, you could be sure it was a fun adventure! Over the course of their marriage they served their families, church, and community. They poured themselves into any youth they could get their hands on. Many lives were changed because of the unity and love these two shared, and once again they are reunited in their heavenly home.

In 1952 Bob’s job brought the two of them to West Texas. For a few years Thelma did odds and ends, but in the latter part of 1957 she announced, “If we’re moving to town, I’m going to get a job”, and that she did!

In 1958 Thelma began her banking career as a clerk in the installment loan department at the First National Banks of Odessa. Ten years later, having mastered installment loans, commercial credit, and new account operations by working in various capacities in those departments, she became the secretary to the president. In 1968 she was elected by her peers to receive First National Bank’s Employee of the Year award. It was quoted by many how she stood out among others by her abilities to deal effectively with people, her thoughtfulness to her peers, and her dedication to her career.

In the early years of Thelma’s banking career it was a time of a male dominated profession. Thelma would have been the first to tell you that she communicated best with the male bankers. Bob once said that while she loved and learned from the older men, she sometimes felt they were a bit cranky and set in their ways! When Thelma merged into the place of leadership she quickly established relationships with the bright young bankers and she would take them under her wing. Those guys came to her for everything! They came to her for advice, she chastised them, counseled them, prayed over them, and many times told them what to do. For this she earned the affectionate title “Mother Stone”. The young men eventually became known as “Thelma’s boys” and this influence led them to become successful in their banking careers.

Over the next few years Thelma continued to move through the rankings of the banking business. After 27 years of banking she left Interfirst Bank Odessa as the Senior Vice President of Commercial lending with a $23 million loan portfolio.

In 1985 Thelma joined Texas Bank as executive vice president in charge of lending- at a time when the fledgling institution was on the verge of going broke in the midst of a battered economy. It was quoted that with a collaborative effort and her strong leadership they were able to raise the bank out of the ashes of possibly going under.

In 1990 Thelma was named president of Texas bank. In February, 1994, Thelma was named Vice Chairman of the Board, and in the same year she announced her plans to retire. At the time of retirement Thelma remained on the board at Texas Bank.

After eight years of retirement and the passing of her beloved husband, Thelma decided to come out of retirement and went to work for Southwest Bank as their Vice Chairman Emeritus. The nine years that she spent in this position were some of the sweetest. Thelma’s banking business spanned over 45 years. She left an unforgettable mark of high principles and good morals in the local banking community.

In addition to her many years of banking, another passion of hers was the love of her church. Thelma felt that it was crucial to stay closely connected to church in order to serve her community best. No one loved and served the church like she did. For many years Thelma and her husband taught and loved the youth group. Years later they assisted in building up a mission church that is now known as Mission Dorado Baptist Church. Thelma held many positions at MDBC, but she was most passionate about being the Treasurer for over 18 years. Her knowledge of banking, her strong Christian beliefs, and her love for God’s people helped her to run that position efficiently and effectively. Thelma was also a key part in the starting of the group “Young at Heart” at MDBC. This group was made up of widows that met weekly to fellowship together, plan outings and service projects for the church. You can’t walk through the halls of Mission Dorado without seeing the many things that Thelma was part of or helped to make happen. She will be deeply missed by her church family and are forever grateful for the influence she had throughout the years she served there. In addition to banking and her church, Thelma Stone loved decorating, shopping, kitty cats and people. A very special thank you to her sister-in-love Dean Rhodes for taking care of her in her latter days when her health started to fail. Arrangements are under the direction of Frank Wilson Funeral Home. The services will be Friday, March 10, 2017 @ 10am at Mission Dorado Baptist Church with Pastor Robert Bratcher and Pastor Jared Wellman officiating. There will be graveside services directly following at Sunset Gardens. Surviving relatives include her sister May Dell Pierce, her sister-in-law Dean Rhodes, and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband Bob Stone, her parents Ernest and Jewell Rhodes, and her brother Glenn Rhodes. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be sent to Mission Dorado Baptist Church 4142 Faudree Road Odessa, TX 79765 www.missiondorado.com

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  • Visitation

    Thursday, March 9, 2017

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, March 10, 2017

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Thelma Lee Stone

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kieli lopez

May 7, 2017

thelma lee stone was my grandma and i miss her and thank her for everyrhing she done for my family .i will always remember you no matter what.

Dewey Bryant

March 10, 2017

Mother Stone! I cannot thank you enough for taking my hand and not only teaching me about banking, but also about life. I cannot express enough how much you influenced my life. Thank you Mother Stone! Love you and will miss you!

Dewey Bryant

March 10, 2017

Mother Stone! I cannot express enough what you meant to me. Thank you so much for taking me by the hand and leading me and teaching me not only about banking, but about life. As I told you many times, you were my second mom. I will miss you dearly, but I hope that my actions and words will exemplify the wonderful example that you set each and every day! Love you Mother Stone! Thank you!

Virginia Ruiz

March 9, 2017

Thelma - You were a classy and remarkable lady. I had the privilege of working with you at 3 different banks over 30 years. Thanks for being a mentor and paving the road for us, the female lenders that have made it in the banking world because of you.

I will miss you but at the same time celebrate that you have joined your family in heaven and our Lord! Till we meet again,

Michael Thurman

March 8, 2017

My dearest memories of Mrs. Stone was as a child at church. She was my Sunday school teacher.

Bob and Thelma were kind people. Now they are together in heaven.

God bless allmic

Tanya Cooper

March 8, 2017

Ms. Thelma, you were a special lady to me. I went to work for the bank as a very young "kid" who knew nothing. Over the years I had several people who took me under their wing and taught me so much. You were one of those people. You will be missed.

Gerda Feenstra

March 8, 2017

Thelma, words cannot describe the respect I had for you. You were a true professional, dedicated Senior Leader and everybody loved working with and for you.

Billie Hubbard

March 7, 2017

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work with Thelma many years ago. She was a wonderful person. My condolences to all her family and friends.

Doris Magee

March 7, 2017

Thelma you were a sweet sweet lady and loved by all that knew you. I know you are very happy being with Bob again!

Gayle Earls

March 7, 2017

When I arrived as Chairman and CEO of the First National Bank of Odessa in 1980 I was blessed to have a Senior lender and seasoned banker to assist in operating a Good institution to a very good institution to assist a dynamic city. That person Was Thelma Stone. Committed, intelligent, loyal and caring person. She immediately became one of my GoTo people. Loved her like family. RIP TS
Gayle M Earls

FROM THE FAMILY

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