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Thelma Susette (Vanderford) Jensen Mills (7008)

Father: Otis Harrison Vanderford (6003)
Mother: Birdie Cleo Mock

b. October 23, 1922 in Yuba County, California [Thelma], d. April 12, 2021 in Oroville, California, buried in Gridley, California.

m. March 6, 1943 at Bakersfield, California, Floyd Raymond Jensen (jen7001) b. February 28, 1919, d. March 30, 1990, buried in Gridley, California .

Issue: [Thelma]

Kirk Thomas Jensen (jen8005), b. March 28, 1944

Karen Suzette Jensen (jen8006), b. March 7, 1946

Thelma and Elroym2. November 20, 1994 in Napa, California, Elroy Glasgow Mills, b. September 18, 1921, d. April 13, 2011, buried in Visalia, California.


Thelma nearly died from rhuematic fever and her recovery was slow. To help her get exercise and be outdoors, her doctor prescribed a horse. The story of Pat.

Thelma attended Chico State where she was president of the College Riding Club and active in the Theta Sigma Epislon Sorority. [Thelma]

Wedding 1943March 6, 1943:
Miss Thelma Susette Vanderford became the bride of Army Air Cadet Floyd R. Jensen in a candlelight ceremony taking place Saturday evening, March 6th, in the Chapel of Sacred Memories Methodist Church in Bakersfield.

Thelma followed Floyd through flight training. Floyd was sent overseas to New Guinea as a B-25 pilot. Son Kirk was born while his father was overseas and was a year old when Floyd saw him for the first time. Thelma moved to Florence, South Carolina where Floyd trained for the planned invasion of Japan. [Thelma]

January 21, 1944:
Floyd shipped out to the South Pacific and Thelma left Carolina for California by train. She had booked a lower berth because she was 7 months pregnant with Kirk. When she got to the train she had an upper berth, the lower one taken by a young lady who had been visiting her Cadet fiancee. Too proud to ask for a berth swap, she struggled into the upper berth each night and comforted herself with the thought of "little miss fur coat" surviving on a Cadet's pay of $76 a month before uniform dry cleaning bills. [Thelma]

March 1944 to May 1945:
Floyd flew B-25s during his Southwest Pacific Tour of Duty. His story is here.

Thelma and Floyd moved to the Vanderford Ranch west of Gridley, California where they raised rice, oats and cattle. [Thelma]

Thelma and grandson Jon David Moss (moss9001) formed a partnership to continue farming the Vanderford Ranch after Floyd's death. [Thelma]

Still in good health at age 88 she moved to Country Crest in Oroville, CA, a Continuing Care Retirement Community.

Photo Gallery

    Thelma and her Dad, Otis (6003)    Sagehen hunting 1927 - Thelma with her mother, Birdie

Thelma - High School Graduation    Thelma & Pat

Stan & Carol and Floyd and Thelma        

Floyd and Thelma        Floyd and Thelma


Floyd 1942/3    Floyd

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