Cover photo for Thelma Taylor's Obituary
1920 Thelma 2012

Thelma Taylor

February 19, 1920 — December 25, 2012

Thelma Vera (Durfee) Taylor 92, died December 25, 2012 in the Teton Nursing Home in Choteau of natural causes. Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 3 at 11:00 at the Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home in Choteau. Burial will follow in the Choteau Cemetery, and a lunch will be served at the Log Cabin Restaurant.

Thelma was born February 19, 1920 in Denver, Colorado, to James and Florence Garfield. Her childhood years were spent helping at her mother's boarding school and on occasion traveling to gold mining camps where her father was a mining engineer. In her early teens, in order to help out the family, she joined the workforce finding work in restaurants and the Contadina Food Cannery. Thelma knew the meaning of hard work, and could easily work circles around those younger than herself.

She married Steve Durfee in 1939 and they resided in Modesto, California. In 1942 their only child Sharon was born. Steve and Thelma opened the first fresh poultry market in Modesto and later sold it to pursue a new adventure. In 1958 she and Steve purchased the 7 Lazy P Guest Ranch west of Choteau. After spending a few seasons in Montana they turned the ranch over to their daughter and son in law and returned to Modesto where they purchased the Riverbank Locker Plant. Steve passed away in 1977. She later married Alden Taylor in Modesto, and worked with him in his hearing aid business until retirement. In 1988 Al passed away and in 2000 she returned to Choteau to be close to her family.

Thelma especially loved western music. Patsy Kline, Chet Atkins, and Floyd Kramer were her favorites. She was musical herself and played harmonica, organ and accordion by ear. Thelma was a very accomplished cook and was known for her Italian dinners at the 7 Lazy P. She will be remembered locally for being a fashionable lady, always dressed in bright, beautiful color. Whether she was just out to get her mail, or grab a few groceries she was easily recognized in her white Cadillac.

Her hobbies included reading, cooking and baking. Thelma was blessed with the gift of hospitality and one of her greatest joys was cooking and caring for others.

Her survivors include her daughter Sharon and son in law, Chuck Blixrud of Choteau; two granddaughters, Debra (Larry) Renteria and Laura (Hank) Bouma all of Choteau; five great grandchildren; Lacey, Logan and Quinn Bouma, Mariah and Mikayla Renteria. She is also survived by a sister Dorothy (Fred) Kopp of Paradise, California and her brother James (LaWanda) Garfield of Grass Valley, California.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, a sister, and a great granddaughter Caitlin Renteria.

Memorials are suggested to the Teton Nursing Home where she received excellent care in her last year or Bright Eyes Animal Shelter because of her love for all God's creatures. Online condolences may be left at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thelma Taylor, please visit our flower store.


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