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Thelma M. (Chronister) Smith

June 22, 1921 ~ January 3, 2022 (age 100) 100 Years Old

Thelma Smith Obituary

Thelma M. Smith

Thelma M. Smith, 100, Hays, died Monday, January 3, 2022 at Via Christi Village.

She was born June 22, 1921 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma the daughter of John and Annie (Jones) Chronister.  On June 4, 1948 she was united in marriage to Benford E. “Ben” Smith in Okmulgee.  He died on November 16, 1984.  They moved to Hays, Kansas in 1959 where Ben was working with the Texaco Oil Company, and Thelma has been a resident of Hays since that time.  She worked at Fort Hays State University for 21 years, retiring in 1981.  Thelma was a 50-year member of the Hays Chapter #288 Order of the Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Matron in 1966, a member of the District Aides Association of The Grand Chapter of Kansas, where she served one term as District Aide, and a member of the New Life Center – Assembly of God Church of Hays.  She enjoyed attending her church faithfully and for many years shared her gift of music as the church pianist.  She helped in the delivering of Meals on Wheels when the church took its turn and always enjoyed the friendship of its members and friends.

Survivors include two nieces: Barbara Eads of Dumas, TX and Diane Simpson and husband Gail of Pflugerville, TX, two nephews: Allen Chronister and wife Jamie of Skellytown, TX and John Gough of Argonia, KS, and several great nieces and great nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ben, two sisters: Louise Little and Ruth Allison Cain, a brother: Johnny Chronister, a niece: Margaret Ann Gough, three nephews: Charles Little, Dale Little, and Jerry Eads and a great nephew: Jimmy Eads.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 am on Thursday, January 6, 2022 at the New Life Center – Assembly of God Church of Hays, with Pastor Sabian Chaney officiating.  Visitation will be from 9:00 am until service time on Thursday at the church.  Burial will be at 2:00 pm on Friday in the Okmulgee Cemetery with Pastor Eddie McElhannon officiating.  Memorials are suggested to the New Life Center – Assembly of God Church of Hays, in care of Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home.  Condolences and memories of Thelma may be shared with the family at

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January 6, 2022

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
New Life Center
1701 E. 22nd Street
Hays, KS 67601

Funeral Service
January 6, 2022

11:00 AM
New Life Center - Assembly of God Church
1701 East 22nd Street
Hays, KS 67601


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