Cover photo for Thelma J. Smalla's Obituary
Thelma J. Smalla Profile Photo

Thelma J. Smalla

Thelma passed away Sunday, August 18, 2019 at Wings Home in Allegan.

She was born April 5, 1936 in Allegan the daughter of Hugh and Beatrice (Clawson) Taylor. Thelma had been a secretary at Tru Heat in Allegan for 10 years retiring after her marriage to Steven Smalla on January 28, 1989. She was active in the Otsego Church of God as a prayer warrior and was happiest when she was surrounded by her family.

She is survived by her husband of 30 years; her 5 children, Cindi (Dan) Witt of Gobles, Bill Jr. (Diana) Doest of Allegan, Sharon (Bruce) Milhiem of Otsego, Ron (Louellen) Doest of Allegan and Rick (Dawn) Doest of Plainwell and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, infant sister, June and brother, Ivan.

Friends may visit with Thelma’s family from 5-8 P.M., Thursday, August 22, 2019 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego and starting at 12:00 P.M., Friday, August 23, 2019 at the Otsego Church of God until the time of the funeral service at 1:00 P.M., with Pastor Stephen Burrow officiating.

Burial will follow at Poplar Hill Cemetery in Monterey Township.

Contributions in memory of Thelma may be made to

Wings Home of Allegan


Otsego Church of God.

Messages of condolence may be posted at


Offer Condolence for the family of Thelma J. Smalla

Condolence Messages

Deborah mendez

August 19, 2019 at 11:34 am

So sorry for your loss Steve she was a very sweet lady .


craig phillips

August 19, 2019 at 12:15 pm

sorry to hear of thelmas passing, remember the good times prayers and thoughts with you at this time. love


Bart Shaw

August 19, 2019 at 12:22 pm

My condolences to the family.

I spent many years working with “Jo” at TruHeat. She was a pleasure to work with and a loyal friend.


Lark & Penny Baker

August 19, 2019 at 12:26 pm

To Steve, and Families…Your Angel has flown to heaven… Thelma, your eyes could light up a room! And talk about a prayer warrior! WOW! And your heavy-duty Hugs…they helped us cope with the loss of Dolores. Praying for your comfort & peace.


Nancy Rittenhouse

August 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm

So sorry to hear about Thelma’s passing. Steve, Sharon and Ron and the rest of the family you will be in our prayers!


Dave and Linda Hays

August 19, 2019 at 12:52 pm

So sorry for your loss Steve and family. We are out of town but know we are praying for you all!


Cathy Kocher

August 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

We are so sorry for your loss. You took such wonderful care of her what a gift to you that she left you with a smile!


Cathy and Bill


Lori Rice

August 19, 2019 at 1:05 pm

So sorry to hear of T.J’s passing , our thoughts and prayers are with you Steve.


Linda Hays

August 19, 2019 at 1:10 pm

So sorry to hear that T. J. Passed away. She was such a special lady! Although we didn’t run into you often, she was always such a blessing. We will be praying for you, Steve, in the days and months to come.


Deb Mancuso Farmer

August 19, 2019 at 1:25 pm

So sorry to here this Steve my heart and prayers go out to you and your family may she Rest In Peace


Merry Kingsley

August 19, 2019 at 1:46 pm

So sorry to hear about Thelma’s passing our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Rick Myers & Merry Kingsley


Judy OConnell

August 19, 2019 at 2:34 pm



susan Hatten

August 19, 2019 at 3:23 pm

So sorry to here this Steve my heart and prayers go out to you and your family may she Rest In Peace . love her forever


Earl and Karen Stedman

August 19, 2019 at 3:53 pm

We are so sorry to hear of Thelma’s passing,and our prayers are with you and your family


Pat Miner

August 19, 2019 at 6:25 pm

So sorry to hear of Thelma’s passing. May she rest in peace, and may you all cherish those special times you had with her.


Chris Nielsen

August 19, 2019 at 8:08 pm

So very sorry for your loss, ?Steve & family. My thoughts & prayers are with you…


Stephene Johnson

August 19, 2019 at 8:47 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. I’m glad that I had the pleasure of getting her while she was at Allegan County Medical Care Facility. She was a sweet lady. I absolutely loved her sweet squeaky voice. She will be greatly missed.


Dorrie Griffith

August 19, 2019 at 9:04 pm

My deepest sympathy to Steve and the family. What a sweet woman Thelma was. May you hold on to the memories and peace to know that you will see her again.


Roy and Kay Butler

August 19, 2019 at 9:11 pm

Sorry Steve May god be with u and family love Roy and Kay.


Wayne and Claudia Patrick

August 19, 2019 at 9:20 pm

So Sorry for your loss Steve. You are in our prayers.


Wayne & Claudia Patrick

August 19, 2019 at 9:43 pm

So sorry for your loss. May God surround you with peace and love.


Char mason

August 20, 2019 at 4:50 am

To the family and Steve I am so sorry for your loss..

Thelma you are one.of my favourite ladies.. I love you..

I will miss you.. I know you are having a blast up there.. I know you are my garden angel.. I love you girl..


Matt Antkoviak

August 20, 2019 at 10:02 am

My condolences, Steve. Always enjoyed seeing you two out camping. Praying for peace.


Lorraine McDaniel ( keedle)

August 20, 2019 at 10:05 am

Sorry for all your loss she was my second mom and will be greatly missed


Linda (Rininger) Goeppinger

August 21, 2019 at 1:43 am

Saying good bye is never easy even when we know they are with our Lord. May God surround you all with His mercy and love during these days and beyond.


betty mdaniel

August 21, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Sorry for your loss, Thelma and I grew up in the same neighbor hood. She was a lot of fun


Lori Hildenbrand

August 21, 2019 at 10:40 pm

Our deepest sympathies to you and your family, Steve. Thelma was an incredible lady and I will miss seeing her in church.


Dave and Vicky Garvin

August 22, 2019 at 9:58 am

Our sympathies to you Steve and to each of your family members. Thelma was one of the sweetest ladies I have known and she will be missed in our neighborhood.


Ruth Ellis Winterowd

August 22, 2019 at 9:59 am

To Steve and all the family :

I know that death comes to all of us, but Thelma’s passing is especially sad for me. I remember her fondly from the time I was old enough to recognize her. She was a wonderful cousin, and I will always remember her sweet smile and soft manner. The memories of family reunions, church, and other times will remain in my heart. I’m so glad I got to talk with her a few months ago. Her voice remains in my memory. I loved her dearly.

(Steve, I don’t have addresses for the “children”, so please express my sympathy to all the family.)


Kitty Royale-Livingston

August 22, 2019 at 4:27 pm

Sorry for your loss have many fond childhood memories of the Doest family when we all lived on James St.


Kitty Royale-Livingston

August 22, 2019 at 4:32 pm

Such fond memories of Thelma when we were kids living up on James St.


Charlotte Taylor-Huitt

August 22, 2019 at 6:48 pm

So very sorry to hear of TJ passing. My heart goes out to the entire family.

Hugs for all.

Charlotte Taylor-Huitt


Pam mchugh

August 23, 2019 at 4:26 pm

So sorry for your loss


Jackie Hicks

September 26, 2019 at 2:39 pm


My condolences on the loss of Thelma. She was always sweet to me and will be missed by all. Thank you both for being my neighbor.


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