Thelma (Luce) Baird formerly of Woodside Village in Oak Bluffs died on Jan. 22, in Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She recently celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 8, with many friends and relatives in attendance. It was a wonderful event during which she entertained and greeted everyone by name.
She was born in Edgartown in 1908 the daughter of Harry C. Luce and Irene (Mayhew) Luce. Thelma spent her early years on her father's dairy farm, which today is Farm Neck Golf Course. As a young adult she loved ballroom dancing and was a prize-winning dancer at the Tivoli Dance Hall.
She and her husband Raymond Baird lived in Providence, R.I., for many years where he worked for the Sealtest Ice Cream Company. They used to take long Sunday drives and thought nothing of spending several hours on the road to visit their niece Betsy during her four years at Stonehill College.
After her husband died she moved back to the Island to be close to her family - her sisters, Kay Sullivan, Ida Fibeich Karl, Phyllis Clark Smith, Chrystal Klinginsmith Prada and brothers, Ham, Russell and Clyde Luce, who all predeceased her.
She delighted in children and spent many moments looking after other people's children. She was "Aunt Thelma" to many.
Thelma was well read and an entertaining conversationalist with a wicked sense of humor. She was also an artist creating numerous sketches and paintings. The chef at Windemere was a frequent recipient of her humorous drawings and critiques of his meals. She was appreciated and loved by the Windemere staff and at the Anchors in Edgartown and this affection was reciprocated. Thelma loved good food and her snacks of chocolate, potato chips, popcorn and candy, which no one of her age could possibly have eaten. She had a very independent spirit and every day prior to her residence in Windemere took herself off to Linda Jean's for lunch after calling her favorite taximan for her special fare.
She is survived by many nieces and nephews including her caregivers, Lorraine and Richard Clark and Dory Clark; many great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.
A graveside service was held on Jan. 25 in Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. Donations may be made in her memory to Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, P.O. Box 1477, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 or to the Anchors at Edgartown Council on Aging, P.O. Box 1295, Edgartown, MA 02539. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.