Thelma Reed, a lifetime resident of Dayton, Texas, is being honored with a special day for her 100th birthday. Dayton Mayor Caroline Wadzeck and the City of Dayton have proclaimed Nov. 30, 2022, as Thelma Reed Day in Dayton, Texas.
Reed was born in Dayton on Nov. 30, 1922. She is the seventh child of Milford and Margaret Hamm. A 1940 graduate of Dayton High School, she excelled in typing competitions, was appointed typist for the school newspaper, participated in school plays, played on the girls softball team, was a member of the pep squad and served as head cheerleader during her senior year. She graduated academically in the Top 10 of her class.
After graduation, Reed was employed by Humble Oil and Refinery in Baytown, Texas, as a laboratory technician. Her work earned her the General H.H. Arnold Medallion Award from the Commanding General of the United States Army Air Force on Dec. 14, 1944.
Reed married Louie Reed from a Dayton pioneer family on July 24, 1945, and together they raised one child, daughter Amber.
Thelma partnered with her husband in raising rice, hay, livestock and horses on their farm in Dayton before becoming a top salesperson for World Book Encyclopedia. At the age of 52, she attended nursing school at Lee College and worked for Methodist Hospitals, later specializing in private duty nursing.
Reed is a 70-year member of Dayton’s First United Methodist Church. An active member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Reed was honored for 75 years of membership in 2020. She also has been an active member of several heritage organizations and is a member of the Dayton Historical Society.
In October 2022, Reed was inducted into the Dayton ISD Sports Hall of Fame as Dayton’s oldest living Bronco head cheerleader.
Reed is the grandmother of Michael and Montere Reed and great-grandmother to three great-granddaughters and one great-grandson. She has a great-great-granddaughter due in April 2023.