Thelma Jean (Kraft) Freeman

Thelma Freeman, 1989
Thelma Freeman, 1989

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

(November 26, 1936 - October 23, 2013)


The Lusk Herald
October 30, 2013



Thelma Jean Freeman, 76, passed away at Niobrara Health and Life Center in Lusk Wednesday, October 23, 2013, after a long battle with cancer.

Thelma was born in Lusk, Wyoming November 26, 1936 to Henry and Inez (Barnhisel) Kraft.

She spent her formative years on the ranch located on Plum Creek in northern Niobrara County. She attended Indian Creek School, then Niobrara County High School. Always looking to improve her education, Thelma took classes at Chadron State College, eventually graduating from Eastern Wyoming College in 1990.

Thelma always loved ranch life. The Kraft family lost patriarch Henry Kraft in 1948, so it fell onto the shoulders of the whole family to keep the ranch going. She spent many hours on horseback, haying, milking cows, and all the little jobs it takes to run a ranch and survive.

She taught a few years at the Indian Creek School, then worked a year and a half at the ASCS office in Lusk. On Oct. 20, 1957 she married Donald Freeman. They had one daughter, Donee Jean, March 11, 1960. The couple ranched until Donald passed away June 16, 1966 due to complications from diabetes. Thelma then began to drive the mail route from Lusk to Lance Creek, Wyoming. After eleven years she received a career appointment to the Postal Service October 23, 1976. In October of 1993 she was appointed Postmaster in Harrison, Nebraska. After her retirement from the Postal Service Thelma continued working, investing in DJ’s Coffee Shop and working long hours to get her new enterprise off and running. Thelma was a longtime member of the Congregational Church, and served as their secretary-treasurer.

Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Inez Kraft, husband Donald Freeman, daughter Donee Jean Freeman, infant sister Ella Mae Kraft, and sister Barie Lee Rumney. She is survived by her granddaughter April Nicole Freeman, brother Don and sister-in-law Doreen Kraft, and many nieces, nephews, and extended family.

A memorial service will be held November 6, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Congregational Church in Lusk, Wyoming, with Pastor Mark Lohr officiating. Memorials in Thelma’s name will be established to the American Cancer Society. Donations may be sent to Thelma Freeman’s Family, 832 Edgemont Road, Harrison, NE 69346.

Pier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.




Related Genealogy Entries: 'Thelma Jean (Kraft) Freeman'

Clarence Arthur Black (October 16, 1921 - August 12, 1997)

Fannie F. Black (October 18, 1898 - June 26, 1990)

Hugh Cunningham Black (February 2, 1868 - July 30, 1929)

Julia Loretta Black (February 12, 1882 - May 31, 1958)

Leroy Black (December 14, 1917 - August 7, 2002)

Robert Simpson Black (August 23, 1907 - September 17, 1976)

Donald E. Bolin (November 14, 1937 - June 15, 1979)

Doris Isabelle Bolin (June 23, 1904 - October 7, 1994)

Julie Ann Bolinger (November 5, 1961 - November 13, 2008)

Andrew James Christeson (April 6, 1882 - January 17, 1946)

Marie Christeson (September 20, 1888 - January 2, 1946)

Edmond Mill Cook (April 6, 1910 - April 3, 1984)

Julia Mae Cook (February 14, 1915 - March 30, 1993)

Caroline Foster (May 19, 1852 - December 11, 1932)

Donald E. Freeman (January 29, 1935 - June 16, 1966)

Donee Jean Freeman (March 11, 1960 - August 9, 2001)

Earl Sanford Freeman (July 31, 1880 - October 10, 1955)

Enid Freeman (August 18, 1909 - August 19, 1980)

Hattie Anetta Freeman (November 12, 1881 - April 17, 1971)

Kenneth Ray Freeman (August 21, 1933 - May 15, 1990)

Ray E. Freeman (November 9, 1905 - May 10, 1990)

Geneve E. Hammell (October 24, 1911 - September 24, 2001)

Harold Albert Hammell (March 28, 1913 - August 18, 1970)

Sylvia Hammell (February 1, 1919 - August 12, 2000)

Thomas James Hammell (November 10, 1906 - September 29, 1971)

Bertha L. Hoge (January 31, 1908 - May 26, 2001)

Henry Kraft (December 26, 1892 - November 26, 1948)

Inez Geraldine Kraft (June 8, 1902 - November 26, 1984)

Robert Henry Kraft (February 27, 1925 - February 7, 1945)

Charles Richard Lund (August 29, 1922 - April 29, 1996)

Charles Lund (February 9, 1887 - November 7, 1965)

Kathryn Frances Lund (December 25, 1920 - October 17, 2004)

Myrtle Leona Lund (March 23, 1887 - May 28, 1959)

Ronald Lund (May 24, 1958 - June 12, 2006)

Julius Newton Peterson (December 7, 1911 - October 29, 1988)

Mary Peterson (November 5, 1911 - April 8, 1986)

Frank Potter (November 14, 1890 - December 26, 1968)

Tye Brian Rennard (October 1, 1977 - August 30, 1985)

Barie Lee Rumney (February 15, 1940 - June 5, 1997)

Edward Rumney (March 8, 1881 - December 20, 1964)

Gladys Nadine Rumney (May 10, 1913 - June 24, 1987)

Hannah Elizabeth Rumney (January 24, 1876 - July 13, 1955)

James Edward Rumney (May 29, 1939 - March 23, 2009)

James Edward Rumney (April 29, 1910 - February 8, 1971)

Joseph Rumney (September 11, 1884 - January 10, 1963)

Lillian Lucille Shrum (Date Unknown - February 12, 1951)

Troy J. Shrum (Date Unknown - August 10, 1971)

Harry Leon Wampler (December 24, 1893 - October 7, 1957)


Related Historical Entries: 'Thelma Jean (Kraft) Freeman'

Lusk Post Office History






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