Thelma Joy (Bowles) Porterfield

August 16, 1935June 24, 2020

Thelma Joy (Bowles) Porterfield, 84, of Mt. Holly, departed to her heavenly home on Wednesday June 24, 2020. Thelma was a traditional wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and homemaker. She was focused on taking care of all of her family members. She was an animal lover who loved her and her family’s pets. Thelma was a good cook. She had a sassy sense of humor and she loved to laugh. Thelma enjoyed shopping – especially for shoes. In her younger days she attended to her own flower garden and helped her husband with his vegetable garden. She served her country as an unsung Air Force wife. She loved her husband, Bobbie Porterfield. They were married 56 years before he passed in 2008. Bobbie thought Thelma hung the moon and she thought the same of him. She was only 16 when she married, but she was committed to her marriage and they built a family based on their love for each other. Thelma will be dearly missed by her family and friends and all that knew and loved her.

Thelma is the daughter of the late Leona (Harner) and Charles Bowles. She is preceded in death by her husband, Bobbie Porterfield. She was from a large family and was also preceded in death by many siblings.

Left to cherish their memories of Thelma and to carry on her legacy are her daughters; Debbie (Porterfield) Caraballo and husband Mario of Charlotte, Barbara (Porterfield) Hensley and husband Charles of Belmont and Tina Porterfield of Mt. Holly. Missing their grandmother are grandsons; Marc Caraballo and fiancée April, Michael Caraballo and fiancée Eleese and Aaron Thomas. Thelma leaves behind five great-grandchildren; Morgan Caraballo, Maddison Caraballo, Miles Caraballo, Ava Caraballo and Emma Caraballo. Also surviving Thelma are her sister; Margaret Goad and brothers; Jack Bowles and Larry Bowles and his wife Dorothy, and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service and committal will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday June 28, 2020 at Hillcrest Gardens, 1508 Charles Raper Jonas Highway, Mt. Holly, NC. Reverend Erin Yow of Southpoint United Methodist Church will officiate and offer words of encouragement and hope to family and friends that gather to remember Thelma.

Memorials honoring Thelma’s life can be sent to your local animal charity.

Fond memories of Thelma and condolences for the family can be left at

The staff of Carothers Funeral Home in Stanley is honored to serve the Porterfield family.


  • Leona (Harner) Bowles, Mother (deceased)
  • Charles Bowles, Father (deceased)
  • Bobbie Porterfield, Husband (deceased)
  • Debbie (Porterfield) Caraballo (Mario), Daughter
  • Barbara (Porterfield) Hensley (Charles), Daughter
  • Tina Porterfield, Daughter
  • Marc Caraballo (April), Grandson
  • Michael Caraballo (Eleese), Grandson
  • Aaron Thomas, Grandson
  • Morgan Caraballo, Great Granddaughter
  • Maddison Caraballo, Great Granddaughter
  • Miles Caraballo, Great Grandson
  • Ava Caraballo, Great Granddaughter
  • Emma Caraballo, Great Granddaughter
  • Margaret Goad, Sister
  • Jack Bowles, Brother
  • Larry Bowles (Dorothy), Brother
  • Thelma was from a large family and was preceded in death by many siblings. She leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

  • Your local animal charity


  • Graveside Service and Committal

    Sunday, June 28, 2020


Thelma Joy (Bowles) Porterfield

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sharon DeHaven

June 24, 2021

Dear Porterfield Family, Sending love and hugs on Aunt Thelma's anniversary of her passing. Prayers for continued healing. Love, Sharon.

Larry Bowles

June 28, 2020

Thelma stayed with Mom and Dad whenever Bob was deployed overseas. She and I were very close and got into meanness often. I remember the day we decided to paint Mom's living room fire engine red, including the ceiling. It was horrible! Mom was mad at both of us for ruining her room, but being the sweet person she was, she didn't fuss too much at us.
One thing not well known about Thelma is that she had a beautiful singing voice, though I only heard her sing one time.
Sis, I wish you a happy, blessed time in Heaven with Bob!

Sharon DeHaven

June 27, 2020

I can remember when your family would stay at the house. We would sleep on living room floor giggling. Family reunions were the best. Your mom and dad would keep things a rolling. But with the Bowles you had to be on your toes. Mom and Thelma could hang with the best of them. Mom would always say I need to go see Thelma. I told her to get me directions and we would take off, but it didn’t happen. Will miss Aunt Thelma. I thought she was younger than 85. Goes to show family is love. 🙏🙏🙏🙏


June 27, 2020

I remember the time when I saw her in a restaurant after not seeing her for 15 to 20 years. I asked her if her name was Thelma which freaked her out. After explaining I was her nephew we had a blast catching up. She couldn't figure out how I knew who she was and I told her she looked just like my mother Margaret. We didn't see each other very often but when we did it was like we saw each other all the time. She was very loving and enjoyed a joke like the rest of the Bowles family. She will be missed.