Thelma Ruth (Hagen) Start, 93, of Ostrander, Minn., passed away at Spring Valley Living, on January 26, 2021.
Thelma Ruth Start was born on a farm in rural Wisconsin, near the town of Pigeon Falls on June 15, 1927, to Theodore Edwin and Ruth Adeline (Overby) Hagen. Thelma graduated from the Whitehall High School and moved with two of her two sisters, Viola Mae and Phyllis Marie to Minneapolis, where she worked for Pillsbury and had the unique responsibility of ordering the daily flour.
While in Minneapolis, she met her husband Carmen Leland Start, a young farmer from Mower County, Minn., at a dance at the Marigold Ballroom. Thelma married Carmen on January 1, 1961, and together they had two children, Lisa Start (Khalilian) of Denver, Colo., and Sindy Staart, of Ocala, Fla. Thelma adored her three grandchildren: Sofia Khalilian, and Seth and Ezra Staart.
After moving to rural Southeast Minnesota, Thelma began teaching elementary school at Spring Valley, Minn. Thelma earned a Master’s in Education from Winona State University and eventually retired from teaching in 1979. Thelma loved reading and spent many hours in her retirement reading mysteries and current events.
Thelma is preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Carmen Start; and her sisters Edna Arleen Nestingen of Blair, Wis., and Viola Lusikka of Oulu, Wis.
Her sister Phyllis Marjamaki resides in Oulu, Wis.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made in Thelma’s name to No Kid Hungry Minnesota or recipient state of donor’s choice.