On January 24, 2023, after playing pinochle with family and friends Thelma Beyl, age 78, collapsed in the parking lot of the Haugo Center. She passed away later that evening at Rosebud Health Care Center.
Thelma was born on December 9, 1944, in Buffalo, Wyoming to Don and Irene Cornelius Deitchler. She was the third of six children. The family moved to Slaughterhouse Creek south of Forsyth, Montana when Thelma was in elementary school. Mom liked to share the family shenanigans including a story about her brother shooting her mother in the forehead with a bb gun and another how Grandpa Don conned the kids into pulling weeds by miraculously finding chiclets under every weed he pulled.
Thelma attended schools in Forsyth and Rosebud. She graduated as the Valedictorian from Rosebud High School in 1963. Following graduation, she enrolled in Montana State College in Bozeman where she earned a degree in nursing.
On September 11, 1965, Thelma married Jim Beyl at the Concordia Lutheran Church in Forsyth. She liked to share the story of how RHS moved up a football game kickoff time so that mom’s brother, Larry, and dad’s cousin, Butch could be ushers in the wedding after the game. Mom also liked to tell people that a week after their wedding she had to go to the state hospital in Warm Springs. (To finish her final nursing rotation.)
Jim and Thelma made their first home in Forsyth where Thelma began her nursing career. While living in Forsyth, they had two children, Richard and Erica. In 1974, they moved their family to the farm in Rosebud. Their youngest daughter, Darla joined the family in 1975.
In the fall of 2010, Thelma retired following a 45-year career as a registered nurse at Rosebud Health Care Center. Her coworkers were a second family and she looked forward to annual get togethers with her “retired” work family.
Mom enjoyed playing pinochle, scrabble and hand and foot. As kids we remember a pinochle game or two that stretched into the wee hours of the morning. Anyone who dared bid against her quickly learned how stubborn or perhaps determined she could be. Thelma also liked gardening and having a house full of plants.
In her later years, Mom enjoyed words with friends on the computer, but probably her greatest joy was telling anyone who would listen about her grandkids. She loved following their activities near and far. She was the ultimate statistician and loved keeping score. She was one of their greatest supporters. She even supported her hunters when they came back to the house. She was always eager to see their trophy or simply warm them up with a smile, encouragement, and cocoa, cider or Russian tea when they came back empty handed. No matter how big or small the deer was, she was there proudly taking photos and relished in conversations had afterward.
Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, Don and Irene, her brother, Larry, and nephew, James Carson.
Thelma is survived by her husband, Jim, son, Richard Beyl (Melissa) of Fargo, ND; daughters Erica Bidwell (Barry) of Forsyth and Darla Paul (Kevin) of Clancy, MT. Thelma is also survived by her sister, Barbara DeCock of Three Forks, MT, and three brothers, Jeff Deitchler of Aurora, CO, Wes Deitchler, of Aurora, CO and Emory (Mary Jo) Deitchler of Meridian, ID. In addition, she is survived by eight grandchildren, Brady, Dylan and Jordyn Beyl, Shaunessy (John) Cunningham, Mickey and Bryan Bidwell, and Austin and Sierrah Paul as well as two great grandchildren, Ana and Piper Paul. Thelma also has numerous nieces, nephews and grand nieces and grand nephews.