CARBONDALE –Thelma Lee “Toots” Bobbitt, 94, longtime resident of Carbondale, died on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 at Parkway Manor Nursing Home in Marion.
Toots was born June 22, 1918 in Johnson City, to Eugene Gather Brown and Mamie Lockler Brown. She was married to Freddie Bobbitt in 1937. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Eugene Brown; her husband, Freddie, who died in 1987; her son, Harry, who died in 1964; and nephew Barry Brown, who died in 2010.
Survivors include a niece, Marsha Brown Wilson of Cobden, nephews Richard Eugene Brown and wife Virginia of Dallas, TX, Ronald K. Williams and wife Tony of Mayfield, KY, and Barry’s wife Denice Brown of Kewanee. Toots had 9 grand-nieces and nephews and 8 great-grand-nieces and nephews.
Toots was a graduate of Herrin High School. She and her husband moved to Carbondale after World War II and she established a women’s beauty shop that she operated for a number of years. She later decided to take courses to become a secretary and worked for many years as a secretary for the Air Force ROTC department at Southern Illinois University until her retirement.
Toots was a devoted wife and mother, and a wonderful Aunt, whose cheerful and enthusiastic spirit will be missed. She was an avid golfer and played in women’s tournaments in the area. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Carbondale and a member of the church choir. She had a large group of friends that regularly got together to play bridge and socialize. She also helped deliver “meals on wheels” for many years. Toots was a great supporter of SIU sports, and, together with her husband, Freddie, established the “Harry Bobbitt Spirit” award which is given annually to the Saluki football player who best epitomizes positive attitude, “heart”, and hustle. The award was established in memory of their son, Harry, who had established several SIU offensive and defensive records.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 Saturday, January 12, at the Huffman-Harker Funeral Home in Carbondale.