Thelma May Nissen
May 24, 1927 – December 30, 2020
Thelma was born in Seattle, Washington to Martin and Matilda Astrup, joining her older sister Marjorie. As did many, her family struggled through the depression and the World War II years, but successfully. Thelma graduated from Ballard High School in 1945.
She married her high school sweetheart, Donn Edward Nissen, after he was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps in 1947. They enjoyed fifty-nine years together, until his passing in 2006. They had two children and Thelma’s priorities were always on family and friends.
Thelma went back to college about the time her children were in high school, graduating from Dominican College in 1969, then earning a teaching credential. She taught sixth grade for a number of years, then helped her husband with his business.
Relocating from California to be closer to children and grandchildren, Thelma and Donn enjoyed many years of golf, travel, family, church and many friends at McNary Estates. Recently Thelma lived at Capital Manor where she made more friends and received excellent care until her passing. A lifelong Presbyterian, she worshipped at First Presbyterian Church for 31 years.
Two words describe Thelma: loving and steadfast. Raising her children, she often said: stand up straight, do your best, try your hardest, set a good example and remember you are representing your family. Good words to live by.
Thelma is survived by her two children, Tim Nissen (Pam Rimmer), Barbara Chalmers (Dr. Brent Chalmers); grandchildren, Alex Nissen, Molly Nissen, Dr. Peter Chalmers (Dr. Anna Chalmers), Caroline Chalmers (Mark Spendel) and Annie Chalmers; five great grandchildren; and a large network of extended family and friends.
No service is planned until the pandemic is over. Thelma would welcome contributions to First Presbyterian Church, Salem or to a charity of your choice.
- Salem First Presbyterian Church