School 36

Thelma Mae (Kauffman) Wenger

April 10, 1925 ~ January 3, 2021 (age 95)


Thelma Mae Wenger, 95, of Elkhart died at the home of her daughter, Pamela (Gary) Kling on Sunday, January 3, 2021.

Thelma was born April 10, 1925 in Elkhart to Ross and Theodosia (Warner) Kauffman.

On May 5, 1943 she married Dayton Wenger in Elkhart. Surviving are two daughters, Pamela (Gary) Kling of Elkhart and Candace (Ron) Minichillo of Bristol.

Three grandsons, Tim (Jennifer) Weaver, Todd (Michele) Weaver and David (Donna) Kling, and granddaughter-in-law Traci Kling; 14 great- grandchildren, Dustin (Sara) Kling, Courtney (Joel) Chrobak, Jordan (Rebecca) Kling, Kyle (Ann) Kling, DR. Kendall Kling, Jenna Early, Natalie Weaver, Alec Weaver, Mackenzie Weaver, and Madison Weaver; and 5 great- great grandchildren (Jeffrey, Cora, Charlotte, Gabriel, and Carson) two sisters, Sandra Simper of Elkhart, Connie (Vern) Pellman of Tucson, AZ; two brothers, Richard Kauffman of Watkinsville, GA and Paul (Janis) Kauffman of Temecula, CA, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her parents, husband, sister, Barbara; brother, Dave; and grandson, Jeff Kling.

Thelma graduated from Jamestown High School as Salutatorian of her class in 1942. She was a lifelong member of Central Christian Church in Elkhart, where she served in many areas of ministry including Sunday School teacher, mentor, Church Board, Stewardship Commission, Nominating Committee, bible studies, membership, Evangelism and possibly most importantly, the official greeter/hugger on Sunday mornings.

Thelma was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. All who knew her admired her kindness, smiles, laughter, and listening ear. She held numerous secretarial positions throughout her life. She worked at C.G. Conn’s right out of high school. After her daughters were in school, she worked in the office of Berman’s Sporting Goods Store in Elkhart. For 10 years she worked at Jimtown High School as secretary and finished her career as secretary for 10years at Elkhart City Church of the Brethren (now Creekside COB) Her organizational skills, efficiency, accuracy, and personality were traits that made her a gem. Two of the places she volunteered through the years were Hubbard Hill and for Hospice. Life came full circle as she eventually lived at Hubbard Hill and used the services of Center for Hospice.

Thelma’s hobbies included sewing, gardening, and hosting family gatherings every Sunday evening as well as for birthdays and holidays. Whatever task she attempted, it was always done meticulously and with attention to detail.

One of the projects she was most proud of was the home she and her husband, Dayton, built in Jimtown in 1957. She found and altered the floor plan, and they worked on their house together (Beginning by digging the basement with a team of horses). One popular spot on their property was “Field of Dreams” where her 4 grandsons and eventually great grandchildren went to play ball. They lived in their limestone home on 5 acres for nearly 60 years before moving to Hubbard Hill.

Visitation for Thelma will be from noon to 1PM on Friday, January 8 at Central Christian Church in Elkhart. Due to COVID restrictions a private family service is planned with Pastor Douglas Cripe officiating. Burial will be in Olive Cemetery. The service will be live streamed and DVDs made for those who would like one. Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions in memory of Thelma may be made to Central Christian Church 418 W. Franklin St. Elkhart, IN 46516

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thelma Mae (Kauffman) Wenger, please visit our floral store.


January 8, 2021

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Central Christian Church (Elkhart)


Central Christian Church
418 W. Franklin St., Elkhart IN 46516

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