Thelma Tyler

SOUTH PORTLAND — Thelma Dawn Libby Tyler, 94, passed away peacefully after a long illness on Aug. 14, 2012, at her home at 10 Cooper Street in South Portland.

She was born on Sept. 15, 1917, in Auburn, the daughter of Duane H. and Winnifred Henderson Libby and sister of Duane H. Libby Jr.

Thelma was an outstanding math student and gifted writer, who attended schools in Auburn and Portland, graduating from Deering High School in 1935.

She married Eugene Robert “Tug” Tyler of South Portland on Aug. 3, 1940. They met at Willard Beach in 1931. Tug liked to say, “She came up out of the water looking like a drowned rat, and I thought, I’m going to marry that girl some day.” They were married over 57 years.

Thelma worked before marriage in various places and after was a homemaker who took pride in the loving care she invested in her home, husband and daughter. Her cooking skills were superior and friends never forgot her specialties of peanut butter fudge and angel food cake with orange peel frosting.

Thelma had a lifelong love of animals and her home was never without them. She loved to read, finishing a book or two every week, and was never too tired to go shopping and eat out. In later years she zipped off to the Mall nearly every day in her Honda with her dog in the back seat.

Thelma was fiercely loyal to friends and family and was known for her sense of humor and generosity. Close family will never forget the wealth of gifts stretching from beneath the Christmas tree all around the living room because of her love of giving gifts. One act of generosity stands out above the others: in 1951, when her brother-in-law was stationed abroad and her sister-in-law was hospitalized for many months, Thelma took her nieces and nephew into her home until their family could be reunited. The three children and Thelma’s daughter, Donna, cherish the memory of that year.

Thelma was predeceased by her parents; her brother and her husband.

Thelma is survived by her daughter, Donna Tyler Cummings of South Portland; granddaughters including Caitlin Cummings Thompson of Bridgton; two great-grandsons; nephews, nieces and grand-nephew.

At Thelma’s request there will be no funeral. A graveside service was held on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, at 10 a.m., in Bay View Cemetery, South Portland. A celebration of life will take place at a later time. Arrangements are by the Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Thelma’s name to Hospice of Southern Maine or the Animal Refuge League, Westbrook.

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