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Thelma Susette (Vanderford) Jensen Mills
Father: Otis Harrison Vanderford
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 .
Kirk Thomas Jensen
(jen8005), b. March 28, 1944
Karen Suzette Jensen
(jen8006), b. March 7, 1946
m2. 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]
March 6, 1943:
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
Thelma and grandson
Jon David Moss (moss9001) formed a partnership to
continue farming the Vanderford Ranch after Floyd's death.
Still in good health at age 88 she
moved to Country Crest in Oroville, CA, a Continuing Care Retirement