Cover photo for Theda Secrist's Obituary
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1924 Theda 2020

Theda Secrist

June 1, 1924 — November 10, 2020

Traverse City

Theda June Secrist went to her heavenly home on November 10, 2020.  She was born in Atlanta, Michigan to Sherman and Grace (Stiles) Manier on June 1st, 1924.

On June 30th, 1942 she married her high school sweetheart, Joel Edwin Secrist in Atlanta.  Joel served in the Navy during WWII and Theda followed him from port to port.  Theda was our own “Rosie the Riveter” as she worked to support the war effort at the Boeing Aircraft plant in Seattle, Washington building B-17 bombers.

After WWII she made their home in Montmorency County, Michigan.  In 1960 Joel was elected Sheriff of the county and she was appointed Undersheriff.  She was also responsible to make the meals for the prisoners, but she had such a soft heart, she just made a greater quantity of meals she prepared for her family, as she couldn’t stand to serve them “plain jail food” when she and her own family enjoyed a home cooked meal (and she was a great cook, as anyone who enjoyed her meals can attest).  She put a lot of love in her cooking and baking.)  After several years in office, Joel resigned as Sheriff to accept a position with the Secretary of State in the Detroit area where they lived a few years and Theda worked for a branch of the Secretary of State during that time.

After Joel was appointed the first Secretary of State Branch Manager in Traverse City they lived the majority of their lives in the Traverse City area where Theda worked as the Credit Manager for Montgomery Ward from which she retired in 1980.

Theda was a very humble and spiritual woman who loved the Lord with all her heart and soul.  Theda, along with Joel were founding members of the Liberty Baptist Church in Grawn and even helped build it.  Theda served the Lord and her church in various capacities, for many years serving as their Treasurer.  They later joined the Inland Baptist Church in Interlochen where they remained for the rest of their lives.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, four brothers, loving husband Joel Sr. and beloved daughter, Janelle Secrets Klein.

She is survived by her much loved son, Joel (Kerry) Edwin Secrets Jr. and six wonderful grandchildren:  Kristin (Chris) Secrist Jones, Traci (Keith) Klein Truitt, Kori (Sean) Klein Rich, Sara Secrist, Joel (Jennifer) Edwin Secrist III, Kaci (Andy) Klein O’Bannon, seven sweet great-grandchildren, brother-in-law, Bill (Sue) Secrets, June Mainer (sister-in-law) and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A private service is being held for the family due to the Covid Pandemic, Pastor Cliff Gould presiding, Inland Baptist Church, Interlochen. In lieu of flowers she would like to have memorials directed to the Inland Baptist Church, 19915 Honor Hwy., Interlochen, MI  49643.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Theda Secrist, please visit our flower store.

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