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July 9, 2020

Thelma I. McKenzie

Thelma Ione (Erickson) McKenzie, age 96, passed away Wednesday, July 1, 2020, joining her eternal heavenly family after a long and productive life. She was born on April 7, 1924, in the Blanchardville, WI, area, to Clarence and Beulah (Ayen) Erickson.

Thelma was a 1942 graduate of Blanchardville High School and attended Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN. She married Burt McKenzie on August 13, 1944, and was Burt's lifetime partner at Sturdy Oak Farm, rural Hollandale, where the McKenzie family operated a Registered Holstein dairy herd for over 50 years.

Thelma was predeceased by her husband, Burt, in 2013; and a brother, Leif Erickson.

She is survived by her six children, Anita (Jim) Huffman, Monroe, Nancy (Paul) McMahon, Madison, Kathryn (Tom) Kammerude, Blanchardville, Ken (Marla) McKenzie, Stevens Point, Frances (Mike) Breyer, Crystal Lake, IL, and Gary (Sue) McKenzie, Mount Horeb; and one sister, Mary (Berg) Ardrey, Woodstock, IL. She is further survived by 13 grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Thelma always had a friendly smile and a kind word for all whom she encountered. A woman of personal sacrifice and selflessness, Thelma was devoted to her family and community in countless ways; specifically in her dedication to club and county 4-H leadership, church involvement at Blanchardville Lutheran Church and as a volunteer with the Iowa County Homemakers and Iowa County Historical Society. As a student from another era, initiated within the walls of a one-room schoolhouse in tiny Moscow - even up until her passing - Thelma's sweeping and immaculate script penmanship remained in a word - perfect - in her propensity to send cards and letters to family and friends. Even during the recent COVID health safety lockdown situation, her impact on others was notable as her resident peers and staff at the Ingleside Communities posted an encouraging note outside her door, asking that she "keep singing"! Thelma has now joined with the heavenly choir.

A public visitation was held at Blanchard Hall, 204 South Main Street, Blanchardville, WI, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. With COVID-19 concerns in mind, friends and family attending were encouraged to wear face masks and apply social distancing as a safety precaution. A private family funeral and graveside committal service is scheduled with livestream viewing available.

Saether Funeral Service in Blanchardville is assisting the family. Online and video greetings sharing memories and condolences can be shared with the family at


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