Thelma M. Searles, of Wilmington, DE passed away on Thursday, January 11, 2018. Her youngest daughter Patti, was present to comfort her Mother as Thelma moved into her final adventure to be reunited with her husband Howard “Ray” Searles Jr., her eldest daughter Bonnie S. Urban, her sister Jean Zickgraf, and her parents Alice and Eugene Grimner, who preceded her in death.

A gifted creator, Thelma’s talents were multi-faceted. Perhaps her greatest talents were baking and crafting, her warm and loving nature, and her quick wit and intelligence.

A self-taught baker, Thelma’s cakes could rival any professional baker. Known amongst her family and friends as the “go-to-baker”, Thelma invested the same level of love, artistry and care in her baking that she invested in all areas of her life.

As a crafter, she was equally skilled. Her grandchildren lovingly recall the time spent with their grandmother being toted along to Thelma’s weekly craft group, the “Crafty Bells”. In Thelma’s words, “What happens at Grandma’s stays at Grandmas.” Whether it was sorting fabrics or baking cookies her grandchildren were never at a loss for fun and love when with Grandma.

Finally, Thelma was remarkably intelligent and quick witted. In the early 1950’s Thelma exerted these traits when hired as bookkeeper for the Delaware Trust, a rare opportunity given to women at that time. After six years here, Thelma made the choice to become a Mother when becoming pregnant with her first child, Bonnie. Though she took time away from bookkeeping, she was anything but idle. In addition to raising two daughters, she was also a Brownie Troop Leader, and a Sunday School Teacher. Then in the early 19’s, Thelma continued her pursuit for art and career and in her forties, re-entered the workforce at Hobby Art.

Thelma is survived by her two sisters Margaret Weyl (Phillip), Pauline Immediato, her daughter Patti Weaver (Alan), grandchildren Laura Larks (Dante), Lynn Anker, Amanda Anker, Matthew Urban (Savanah), and AJ Anker; and nine great-grandchildren: Kyra, Kayla, Kelissa, Dante Jr., Kendra, and Damien Larks; and Brooklyn and Cora Anker, and Charlotte Urban and many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone at the Delaware Hospice Group and a special thank you to Darlene Howard. Darlene cared for Thelma for over 5 years, establishing a lasting bond and friendship. Our words cannot express our gratitude for you and everything you have done for our family.

Services will be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 1700 Limestone Rd., Wilmington, DE 19804. A visitation will be held at St. Mark’s from 10-11am with a service following at 11am. Burial will follow at Gracelawn. All are welcome.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church as well as Delaware Hospice, 16 Polly Drummond Center, 2nd Floor, Newark, DE, 19711.