Theda Lorraine Olmsted, 99, of Leawood, passed away Thursday March 11, 2021. Theda was born November 25, 1921 in Appanoose County, Iowa to Frank and Mildred Tarbell.
She lived for over 99 years, a feat most of us will not see. In the past, she talked about all the history she experienced throughout the years, and commented about the good things that were invented. She shared many memories of growing up in the depression, going to a one-room schoolhouse, riding her pony, Tony, and leaving home at a very young age to board with four other girls and attend high school in Centerville, Iowa, where she graduated at age 16. She went on to community college for her teaching certificate and graduated as valedictorian of her class. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse for two years and then attended business school and worked as a secretary and administrative assistant in Des Moines, Omaha and Denver.
She loved to roller skate and met Wes at the rink. She married Calvin Wesley Stevens (Wes) on June 11, 1944 in Des Moines, Iowa. One of her favorite stories was that she spent her wedding night with four men. She and Wes honeymooned in the Ozarks and were giving a ride back to Ft Leonard Wood to Wes’s brother-in-law and two friends, who were home from the Army.
After Wes died in 1957, she raised her two children by herself until they were adults. Then she married Bruce Olmsted and together they square danced and traveled the world.
.Theda was preceded in death by her first husband, Calvin Wesley Stevens in 1957; her second husband, Bruce Olmsted in 2009; and grandson, Jacob Stevens in 1998. Theda is survived by her son, Al Stevens (Theresa); her daughter, Lorraine Stevens; her step-daughter, Judy Quick (Randy); her step-son, Arthur Olmsted (Patricia); grandchildren: Zachery Stevens, Joshua Stevens (Jeni); step-grandchildren Megan Quick (Darrell Akana), Kate Walters (Chris), Tom Olmsted (Joy), Rebecca Rosenblatt, and Jonathan Olmsted (Erin) and many great-grandchildren.
Raise a glass to this wonderful woman who was a beaming ray of sunshine and happiness. She set the bar pretty high for all of us.
Visitation will be 1-2pm Saturday March 27th followed by a 2pm funeral service at the Johnson County Funeral Chapel, 11200 Metcalf Ave. A graveside service will be 1:00pm Monday March 29th at the Oakland Cemetery in Centerville, Iowa.
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