By Linda Lane
Thelma Harrison turns 100 on November 15. She was born Thelma Reinoehl, daughter of Elma and Sylvanus, with three siblings, Willard, Ester and Irma. She grew up in Constantine and moved to Schoolcraft when she at 11.
“When I was real little, we walked to and from school, over two miles each way. Then my dad bought a horse and let Willard drive us three girls to school in a wagon,” Thelma said. She graduated from Schoolcraft High School in 1934.
She married Raymond Ickes at 20 and they became farmers in Schoolcraft. They had two children, Beverly and Vivian. They farmed oats, wheat, and corn at first using a team of horses and later a tractor; they had horses, milk cows, and Black Angus beef cows. Their farm also included turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese. Her husband, Raymond, died of cancer at age 49. Years later, Thelma married Bill Harrison but he also passed away after a car accident.
Thelma worked hard all her life, first as a farmer’s wife. After Raymond passed away, she worked in plastics manufacturing plants for 30 years. Her last career was in the WMU Library.
What advice does Thelma have for young people?
“Go to college and get yourself a good job!” she says.