Thelma Irene McKitrick, age 92, of Rhinelander, died Feb. 12, 2016. Thelma was born April 9, 1923 in Lafayette County, Wisc., to Carl and Bessie Torstenson. She grew up in Darlington, graduated from Darlington High School in 1941, and continued her education at the University of Platteville receiving first a rural school diploma, later a bachelor’s degree and finally a master’s degree in elementary education. She started teaching in a one-room rural school for three years and then resigned to marry Clarence McKitrick June 10, 1944. They farmed for a period of years. She resumed teaching in the Darlington and Belmont School Systems until the family moved to Manitowoc in August 1964. She taught third grade in the Manitowoc School System and retired there in 1986.
She and Clarence moved to Cape Coral, Florida in June 1990 where she became an active volunteer in the Cape Coral Hospital for sixteen years, including president of the Auxiliary in 2002-2003. They moved to Rhinelander May 1, 2006. She became a volunteer at St. Mary’s Hospital. She belonged to the Rhinelander Women’s Club, the Rhinelander Retired Teachers Association, and the Wisconsin Retired Teachers Association. During the summer months, she volunteered in the Old Schoolhouse which is part of the Logging Museum in Rhinelander. She was a member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, and was active in the Women’s Club of the church. She was very active in crafting throughout her life, including sewing, crocheting, ceramics, painting, and needlework.
Family survivors include Clarence, her husband of nearly 72 years; a daughter, Karen (Merlin) Wiegel of Sun Prairie; two sons, Larry (Sandra) McKitrick of Rhinelander and Richard (Corlis) McKitrick of Oconomowoc; two brothers, Stanley (Sally) Torstenson of Twin Lakes and Leslie (Susan) Torstenson of Darlington; and seven grandchildren, Kristine Anderson and Cory (Janet) Wiegel of Portage, Kerry Wiegel of Franklin, Curtis (Erin Eaton) Wiegel of Madison, Thomas (Charline) McKitrick of New Brunswick, Canada, Scott McKitrick of Rhinelander, and Erin (Thomas) Williams of Henrico, Virg.. Also surviving are eight great-grandchildren, Rebecca (Zach) Oszman of Neenah, Samantha Anderson and Emmett Wiegel of Portage, Scott and Haley McKitrick of New Brunswick, Canada, Blake and Beau Williams of Henrico, Virg. and Sophie Eaton of Madison; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Thelma will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 20, 2016, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ at 135 E. Larch St., Rhinelander, with visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Manitowoc Feb. 22. Carlson Funeral Home of Rhinelander (715-369-1414 / www.carlsonfh.com) is assisting with arrangements. Memorials in honor of Thelma may be made to First Congregational United Church of Christ in Rhinelander.