Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Theda Gay (Fleming) Pritchard 1933-2006

Theda Gay Fleming Pritchard was born October 11, 1933 in Clinchco, Virginia to the late Joe C. Fleming and Ocie Fields Fleming. Theda passed away in the early morning hours of Wednesday, August 16, 2006 at the Covenant Village of Colorado at Westminster, Colorado at the age of 72 years.

Theda was raised in the small coal mining town of Haysi, Virginia. As a young girl she moved to Washington D.C. where she and her sister grew up across the street from the Washington Capital Mall. Theda attended high school in the Washington D.C. area and graduated from Suitland High School, Suitland, Maryland in 1952.

Theda met Keith R. Pritchard, a young soldier stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and they were married June 15, 1952. Lorel Yvonne Pritchard was born to Theda and Keith during a visit home to Theda's mother on July 23, 1953 at Georgetown University. On November 10, 1955 Keith Wayne Pritchard was born while the family was residing in Dixon, Missouri. January 2, 1959 Kevin William Pritchard was born while the family was residing in rural Waynesville, Missouri.

Shortly after Kevin's birth, Theda began to lose her eyesight and by the early 1970's she was blind. While Theda was visually blind for the rest of her life, she was given an unusual quality of being able to see people clearly with her heart. Theda accomplished many things without sight that those who have retained their sight have yet to accomplish.

In the mid 1970's Theda opened the Upper Room Bible Book Store in her residence in Waynesville, Missouri. For approximately 15 years she ran the Upper Room Bible Book Store almost by herself with minor assistance from friends and family while she provided bibles, religious tapes and books to her friends or anyone she could encounter. Theda loved her Lord and was eager to share God's blessings with anyone who would take the time to visit with her.

Theda was widowed on November 27, 1993 when her husband, Keith, of 41 years passed away suddenly. She continued to live self-sufficiently and alone in her home until the fall of 2003 when she suffered a stroke that left her with diminished memory and physical abilities. Theda continued to reside in her home until December of 2004 with outstanding care by her relatives, church family and wonderful caretakers who provided her assistance.

In December of 2004, Theda moved to Nightingale Lane of Arvada, Colorado where she resided in a memory assisted living facility until June of 2006. In June of 2006 she moved to the Covenant Village of Colorado in Westminster, Colorado, a skilled care facility where she remained until her passing. Theda was preceded in death by her husband, Keith Raymond Pritchard (1993) and her parents, Joe C. Fleming (1989) and Ocie Fields Fleming (1955) and her sister, Lennis "Bonnie" Combs (1982).

She is survived by her three children: Lorel Y. Zander and her husband Jerry of Golden, Colorado, Keith Wayne Pritchard and his wife Barbara of Waynesville, Missouri and Kevin William Pritchard and his wife Nada of Waynesville, Missouri.

Theda is also survived by eight grandchildren: Alicia Dennis and her husband Joel of Westminster, Colorado; Mary Britton of Bunbury, Western Australia and Theanna Asimus and her husband Chris of Dallas, Texas, Emily Jean Pritchard, Kathrine Ann Pritchard, Molly Jane Pritchard, Kyle William Pritchard and John Keith Pritchard, all of Waynesville, Missouri. Additionally, Theda is survived by six great-grandchildren: Josiah Dennis (4), Joshua Dennis (3), Naomi Dennis (1) and Nathanial Dennis (6 months) and Kate Asimus (3) and Haley Asimus (1).

Theda is also survived by several aunts and uncles, a host of family, cousins, nieces and nephews as well as her church family and friends scattered across the globe.

Great praise and honor is given to our Lord for blessing us with the life of Theda Gay Pritchard. She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew her.

Funeral services were held at 10 AM Monday, September 21, 2006 in the Memorial Chapel of Waynesville with Pastor Judi Tillett officiating. Theda's son Keith and daughter Lorel shared many fond and loving memories of their mother. Granddaughter Emily Pritchard read one of Theda's favorite scriptures, Psalm 91. Music was provided by Brenda Sands and "Amazing Grace" was sung by Glennis Munday and Janoris Williams. Serving as escorts were: Kyle Pritchard Phil Hayes, Joel Dennis, Chris Asimus, Carl Boone, Mike Dunbar, Richard McKinnon and Terry Shultz. Theda was laid to rest by her husband Keith R. Pritchard in the Waynesville Memorial Park Cemetery.

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