On Sunday, March 22, 2020, Thelma Theresa Lewis of Washington, DC entered into eternal life. Family will receive friends on Saturday, March 28, from 11 am ( WALK THROUGH VISITATION HOUR) until the time of Funeral Service at 12 noon ( 10 person limit immediate family) at Wiseman Funeral Chapel, 7529 Old Alexandria Ferry Road, Clinton, Maryland. Interment at a later date at Quantico Cemetery.
Thelma Theresa Lewis was born on July 15, 1935 in Caroline County, VA to her parents Nathan and Lucy Upshaw. She departed her life on Sunday, March 22, 2020 at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center in Fredericksburg, VA.
Thelma completed her education in the District of Columbia Public Schools where she received her diploma from Cardozo High School. While in high school, she was very active and even served as the Captain of the Cadets. Thelma married her sweetheart, Herman R. Lewis, in 1953 in Washington, D.C. To that union, two children were born: Deborah and Herman Jr.
Thelma spent her years working from home as a seamstress, a hairdresser, and a daycare provider for family and friends. Her home was open throughout the years for anyone in need of a place to stay.
She was a member of New Home Baptist Church in Landover, Maryland. She also attended Mount Horeb Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. with her late husband, Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. with family friend Diana, and Long Branch Baptist Church in Woodford, Virginia with her sister Lelia.
Thelma was a dedicated daughter, devoted sister, loving mother and a great friend. In her early years, she sang in a musical group called The Three Sisters with her sisters Lelia and Lena on the Amateur Hour radio broadcast, singing songs like “Easter Parade” and much more. She also loved to shop with her daughter Deborah and her friend Gwen and had a flair for picking out jazzy, colorful outfits with the shoes to match. Throughout her life, Thelma loved to dance – she won many dance contests in the United States and abroad. Once on a trip, she won both dance contests, but gave one of the prizes away.
Thelma loved to travel and go on adventures with her husband, Herman. Over the years, they traveled across the country to over ten states and out of the country to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada. She also enjoyed taking cruises to new destinations, going to plays at theaters, riding The Odyssey and Spirit of Washington in D.C., and occasionally “hanging” with the stars. At one particular show, she met Danny Glover with her daughter Deborah, sister Lena and cousin Ruth. Thelma and her cousin Naomi met Marion Barry and Richard Lawson. While at the National Theater in D.C., Thelma met Billy Dee Williams with her best friend Althenia and also had the privilege of “hanging out” with Patti LaBelle with her cousin Naomi and husband Herman.
Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Herman Lewis, Sr. of Washington, D.C., and her brother Lowell Upshaw (late Josephine) of Landover, MD.
Her memory will be cherished by her loving daughter Deborah Lewis Day (late Alfred) and son Herman R. Lewis, Jr. (late Angela); two sisters, Lelia Jackson (late Thomas) of Hustle, VA and Lena Davis (late William) of Upper Marlboro, MD; sister-in-law Sarah Lewis (late Herbert) of Washington, D.C. and a host of other relatives and friends.
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