Thelma J. Borresen

Thelma J. Borresen, 88, of Wichita, Kansas, passed away Saturday, February 2, 2019. 

Memorial Services will be at 1:00 p.m., Monday, February 18, 2019, at University Congregational Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, C. Robert Borresen; parents, Edward and Anna Maria Jasper; and siblings, Martha, Amanda, and Lawrence. Survived by her son, Michael R. Meacham and his wife, Vicky L. Triponey of Charleston, SC; granddaughter Kathryn Palay and her husband Daniel; and great-grandchildren Sydney and Max, of Chicago, IL. Born March 6, 1930, in rural Illinois, her distinguished career in public service began in 1947 at the Illinois Department of Public Welfare, first as a stenographer, then office manager. After working as a legal secretary to then-attorney Wesley Brown, she served as both Chief Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court and U.S. District Court Judicial Assistant, upon Judge Brown’s successive appointments to each.  Thelma’s dedication and mutual respect between her and Judge Brown, led to a professional relationship spanning four decades. She later became Executive Director of the Mid-Central States Orthopedic Society until she retired in 2013. In 1965, she enrolled at Wichita State University, earning an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Urban Affairs. While there she met her “college sweetheart,” Professor C. Robert (Bob) Borresen, to whom she was married until his death in 2015.

Thelma’s commitment to service (and organizational prowess) made her an invaluable member of a variety of professional associations, as a charter member and leader of the Federal Judicial Secretaries Association and active member in Wichita Legal Secretaries. Community involvement included: WSU Women’s Association, Lambda Tau Delta (philanthropic sorority), Wichita Public Building Commission, the Wichita Child Guidance Center Advisory Board and Wichita / Sedgwick County Historical Museum. T’s accomplishments were dwarfed only by her love for her family and passion for travel; she and Bob visited 49 of the 50 states, much of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Mexico and the Caribbean.

A fighter until the end, she was able to wish her great-grandson, Max, a happy first birthday the day before her passing.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Thelma and C. Robert Borresen Endowed Scholarship in Psychology, c/o Wichita State University Endowment, 1845 N. Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260. Arrangements by Downing & Lahey East Mortuary, www.dlwichita.com.

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