Thelma Overholt

Thelma Overholt was born January 29, 1924, in Pleasant Township, Winneshiek County, Decorah, Iowa, to Albert and Ella Amundson. She was baptized and confirmed at the Big Canoe Lutheran Church, Decorah by Rev. T.O. Talo.

Thelma 2She graduated from Decorah High School in 1942 and Fairview Hospital of Nursing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1945. After graduation, she was employed by Fairview Hospital and later at The University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City.

She married Dr. Edwin L. Overholt November 24, 1945, at the Big Canoe Lutheran Church, with Pastor William T. Hexom and her brother, Pastor James Amundson, officiating. They were blessed with four children, Dr. Steven L. (Connie) Overholt, Stephanie Overholt, Kris (Jack) Arney and Dr. Edwin M. (Amy) Overholt. Thelma has seven grandchildren, Lesley (Christian) Taber, Cameron (Erin) Coyle, Russell (Becky) Overholt, Meghan (Aaron) Pearlman, Ryan (Angie) Overholt, Edwin (Elysha) Overholt and Ella Overholt. Thelma also was blessed with eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Edwin, with whom she had a loving marriage of 60 years; her parents; five brothers, Alvin, Alfred, Norman, James and Lester; two sisters, Thea Stoen and Ellen Ellingson, and several nieces and nephews.

She was a charter member and past president of PEO Chapter CR (50-year member) and a member of the first class of Hospice Volunteers at Lutheran Hospital. When her children were young, she was active in PTA, Girl Scouts (taught the first aid course for five years), den mother for Cub Scouts, organized and led the Youth Choir in Europe (Landstuhl, Germany) and again at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Frederick, Maryland. She also served as a volunteer nurse in the schools her children attended. As her husband moved from one assignment to the next in the Army, she was also active in the Officer’s Wives Clubs and their philanthropic activities (president of Fort Detrick Officers Wives Club, and also at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC). She was a member of English Lutheran Church in La Crosse. Her dedication to her husband was always evident, as was her joy and love for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at English Lutheran Church, with visitation one hour before the service. Memorials may be given to the English Lutheran Church Piano Fund or the Endowment Fund for Dr. Edwin L. Overholt Chair of Medical Education at the Gundersen Medical Foundation. Online condolences may be shared with the family at