Thelma Jean (Simas) Sumner passed away on August 7, 2019 at age 89. She was the heart and soul of her family. Thelma had the spirit of an artist as a lifelong painter, singer, musician (piano and guitar), poet and cook. She loved chocolate and nature including the beach, animals and the garden she created that was enjoyed by all who visited her. She was known for her sense of humor and wit and loved to laugh with her family. She was also proud of the history and heritage of her large family and would share her knowledge about it generously.
Thelma was born on August 3, 1930 in Santa Maria, the second daughter to Lawrence and Evangeline (Flood) Simas, joining her older sister, Barbara (Sweeney) and followed by her younger brother, Steve. As children and for most of their lives they were a singing trio, while their father accompanied them on multiple instruments. She graduated from Santa Maria High School in 1948, where she was a member of the glee club and played softball.
In November 1948 she married William J (Sonny) Sumner in San Luis Obispo, CA. In 1952 they had their first child, Colleen P. Sumner, followed by James Alvin, Stanley Lawrence, Stephen Robert, William Henry and Thomas Patrick. She loved her daughter- and son-in-laws as well, Steve Goodman, Arthur Andrade, Nancy (Cirone) Steele, Kristi Klein, Natalie (Brodnick) Sumner and Joanie (Ferini) Sumner, her “adopted” son, Fran Gladstone, as well numerous nieces and nephews. She adored her grandchildren: Kimberly Renel (Andrew), Joseph Andrade (Mary), Lisa Story (Jason), Brandy Tackett, Barbara DuBransky (Tom), Dawn Palacios (Jimmy), Nick Goodman, Zachary Sumner (Angelina), Chadwell Sumner (Lauran) and Nicole Sumner (Angel Guerero). She delighted in her great-grandchildren: Chelsi Jacobs, Tori Renel, Joseph Andrade, Alex Andrade, Ariana Merkert, Liliana Palacios, Jacob Palacios, Gabriel DuBransky, Jesse DuBransky, Evangeline Story, Dreyden Sumner, Jaxon Sumner, Klayton Sumner and Elijah Ray Guerrero. Her dogs, Flipper, Scooter, Missy and all the family dogs also brought her great joy.
Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Sonny; son, James; great-grandson, Cody Andrade; and her sister, Barbara. Thelma is survived by her brother, Steve (Doris), sister-in-law Rita Alexander, brothers-in-law Don Oliveira, Fred Sweeney and Joe Duran.
Special thanks for the friendship and the care in her final days to Martha Gee, Trish Lail and Jules Dashek.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Central Coast Hospice.
A Celebration of Thelma's life will be held August 18, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Harris Ranch, 1200 Harris Grade Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455.