Thelma Reed Rosen, 95, passed away peacefully at Buckingham Assisted Living, her ‘home away from home’, on July 22, 2019.
She was born in Cochran, Georgia, the middle child of 3 children of Ray and Joseph Reed. They lived in Cochran, where her father owned a dry goods store for many years. At the age of sixteen, Thelma graduated from Cochran High School, where she was an active member of the debate team.
Thelma then attended the University of Georgia where she continued her love of debate by serving on the college debate team and was a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority where she was named the Tau Epsilon Phi beauty sponsor. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and psychology and upon graduation from UGA, Thelma went on to further her education at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she received her Masters Degree in Social work and moved to Atlanta where she worked for Grady Hospital as a Social worker.
At the age of 23, Thelma married Dr. Emanuel F. Rosen (Manny) and moved to Savannah. They enjoyed 35 years of marriage until his death in 1983. After marriage, she continued her professional career by working as a social worker at both Candler and Memorial Hospitals.
She is survived by all of her children, Karen, Freddy, and Amy (David) as well as 8 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, her brother Irwin (Buddy) Reed, and her former daughter-in-law, Judy Rosen Rubin. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her parents and her brother, Harold Reed.
The base of her life was her strong Jewish faith. She was a member of B’nai B’rith Jacob Synagogue and Hadassah. In addition, she was a member of the Telfair Art Museum and the Savannah Art Association. Among her many interests were painting, gardening, auctions, antiques, storytelling, golf and beading. Thelma was a passionate volunteer and became an example and role model to all who knew her. Using her social work skills, she volunteered at Memorial Hospital service on both the pediatric and pediatric oncology clinic. Thelma was an innovator of her time when serving as a volunteer at the Georgia Regional Hospital, using art as a form of therapy. She took an active role in the Russian re-settlement program and oversaw the furnishings and decoration of the apartments occupied by the new US citizens. In 1995, Thelma saw a need for more Jewish senior activities and as a result, started a senior program (Food for Thought) at the Jewish Educational Alliance. In her later years, Thelma remained an avid volunteer. She was known as “The Flower Lady” as she delivered flowers twice a week to area assisted living, nursing homes, and Hospices. Her most endearing project involved reading weekly to the preschoolers at Rambam Day School where she was affectionately known by all the students as “Grandma Thelma”. Thelma was recognized and awarded many honors in her years as a volunteer. In addition to volunteering, Thelma was an avid learner and traveler.
Her children are grateful for her many years of unwavering love and support.
A graveside service will be held at Bonaventure Cemetery, Wednesday July 24, 2019 at 9:00 am.
The family is particularly grateful for the compassionate care shown to Thelma by her numerous loving caregivers over the last four years and by the outstanding team at Hospice Savannah.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests consideration of modest memorial donations to Rambam Day School, 111 Atlas Street, Savannah, GA 31405 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.