Susan Betty Thieman
July 31, 1940 — Nov. 5, 2012
Felton resident Susan Betty Thieman, a longtime Valley Churches United Missions volunteer, died Nov. 5 following an illness. She was 72.
A native of Oklahoma, Ms. Thieman studied sociology at the University of Tulsa, University of Kansas and University of California, Davis, before embarking on a career in advertising and urban planning that eventually took her to the Bay Area in 1970.
She moved to the Santa Cruz area in 1972 and was working for the Human Resources Agency of Santa Cruz County when she was appointed in 1987 as the county’s representative to Valley Churches United Missions, which was then newly founded.
In that role, Ms. Thieman organized the effort to unite the county services with Valley Churches under one roof.
During the next 25 years, Ms. Thieman became a familiar sight at the Valley Churches headquarters and throughout the community. She founded and ran the organization’s Saturday pantry for low-income families until her health failed.
In recognition of her service to the community, Ms. Thieman was named an Angel of the Year in 1997.
One of her great pastimes was reading, and she shared that love as a volunteer at the Ben Lomond Library from 1980 to 1990. Valley Churches has announced that a book sale fundraiser in her memory will be scheduled soon.
Ms. Thieman had no living relatives but is survived by many close friends and neighbors in the community.
At her request, her ashes were scattered at sea.