Thelma Elenore Willnauer
Thelma Elenore Willnauer, 92, passed away, Saturday, January 30, 2021, at Dunn’s Vista, facility of Morningstar Care Homes in Baldwin City, KS. She had lived there since 2017. Thelma’s wish was to be a part of medical training and studies with KU Medical Center’s Donation Program.
Thelma Elenor Adolphi was born October 24, 1928, in Cairo, New York to Thelma Maude Arnold and Wilfred Kipp Adolphi. She attended Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. Her sister Jean introduced her to a young Navy sailor, Peter Kohler Willnauer. Pete returned home from WWII in May of 1946. Their relationship grew and they were married on August 15, 1948. They eventually bought a home in New Britain, CT and raised their three sons. Thelma was an active Cub Scout Den Leader, insisting her sons get their Eagle awards before being allowed to get their driver’s license. She was an avid swimmer, and a proud member of the 100-mile club at the New Britain YWCA. After Pete died in 2007, she moved to Gardner, KS in 2010 to be closer to her sons. Thelma was a master at knitting and crocheting, making caps, gloves and scarves for church bazaars at Trinity United Methodist Church in New Britain, as well as sweaters and dozens of afghans for her family and friends. She loved collecting stained glass objects. Thelma enjoyed photography, a skill she learned from watching her grandfather who ran Arnold’s, a gift shop originally specializing in Kodak films and developing, in Cairo, NY.
Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, husband Peter, sister Jean Snyder, brother Kipp Adolphi, and daughter-in-law Mary Willnauer. She is survived by her sons, Kipp Willnauer and Deb, Korey Willnauer and Beccie, and Kent Willnauer and Kathy; grandchildren Sabrina Williams and Tim, Kody and Brittani Willnauer, Kasey and Cassie Willnauer; step-grandchildren Lisa Smith, Tracy Smith, Craig Barnett, Jillian Hodge, and Kalyn McGee; 12 great grandchildren; her “4th son” Frank Lamson; many nieces, nephews and their families.
Cremation. No services are planned at this time. Inurnment in Layton Township Cemetery, Walnut, Iowa. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. Arrangements by Bruce Funeral Home, 106 S Center St., Gardner, KS 66030, 913-856-7111,