The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 27, 2013

Thelma (Hazelbaker) Soper


OAKWOOD — Thelma (Hazelbaker) Soper, 79, of Oakwood, passed away at 11:20 a.m. Thursday, April 25, 2013, at Presence United Samaritans Hospital in Danville. She had been ill for several weeks.

Thelma was born on Oct. 24, 1933, in rural Oakwood to the late Wilson and Elva (Moore) Hazelbaker.

She married Thomas D. Shotts in 1951; they had four children together and later divorced. Thomas preceded her in death in 1979.

Thelma later married A.J. Soper on Sept. 30, 1984. He also preceded her in death in 1988. Also preceding her in death are two sons, Richard D. and Randy L. Shotts.

Thelma is survived by her two daughters, Elizabeth Anne Richardson of Oakwood, whom she made her home with, and Betty Jeanne (Tim) Childers of Jacksonville. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Scott (Tracy) Kopacz, Kelly Trimble, Gus Richardson, Rachel (Paris) Anderson; and eight great-grandchildren. She is also survived by many wonderful nieces and nephews.

Thelma was the youngest of 10 siblings; all have preceded her in death, Arvetta, Estol, Virgil, Charles, John, Florence, Marie, Leo and Orville Hazelbaker. She grew up and lived around the Oakwood area all of her life and graduated from Oakwood High in 1951.

She retired from the VA in Danville after 23 years as a CNA. She was an avid reader, loved going to garage sales and secondhand stores. She loved animals and enjoyed spending time with friends and family, especially at the annual Hazelbaker reunion. She touched many lives and will be missed by all.

A celebration of Thelma’s life will begin at 1 p.m. Monday, April 29, at Sunset’s Oakwood Chapel, with Pastor Curt Darling officiating. A visitation will be 3-5 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Sunset Memorial Park in Danville.

Memorials can be made in Thelma’s name to the charity of the donor’s choice. Please join Thelma’s family in sharing photos, videos and memories of her through her Tribute Wall at

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