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Thelma J. Cates 1926 - 2021
Thelma J. Cates

CLAFLIN — Thelma J. Cates, 94, died April 11, 2021, at Country Place Senior Living, Hoisington, Kan. She was born June 18, 1926, to Andrew and Millie (Deel) Gower in Shamrock, Okla.

On Dec. 18, 1945, she married Vivan Cates inWinfield, Kan. They were married for 55 years, he passed away in 2001. They settled in Claflin in 1954 where she was a Sunday schoool teacher and the church pianist for the First Southern Baptist Church.

She and Vivan had six sons and two daughters; the late, Don (Ginger) Cates of Wichita, the late, infant daughter, Deborah Ann Cates, Bruce (Craig) Cates of New Braunfels, Texas, Ray (Becky) Cates of Haslet, Texas, Bob (Alvita) Cates of Claflin, Steven (Susan) Cates of Emporia, Myra (Mike) Prosser of Claflin, and Barry (Kelly) Cates of Guyton, Ga. She is also survived by 21 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren and with one on the way; and 14 great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Barbara McDowell and husband Mike of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and four sisters-in law, Lorene Franklin, Sylvia Meyerdirk, Opal Gayhart and Connie Goin. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; son and an infant daughter; two grandsons, Michael Travis Cates and Trevor Cates; brothers, Raymond and Glen Gowers; and sisters, Frances Woolverton, Norma Jean Woodsend, Ruthie Costanza, Louise Steinert, and Wanda Harford. 

Visitation will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, with family to greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Funeral service will be 11 a.m., Thursday, April 15, 2021, at Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home, Hoisington, Kan., with Chaplain Jeff Owen presiding. Burial will follow in Claflin Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Clara Barton Hospital Foundation or the donor’s choice in care of Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home, P.O. Box 146, Hoisington, KS 67544.

Funeral arrangements provided by

Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home 

P.O. Box 146 

Hoisington, KS 67544

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, April 14, 2021