Thelma Windsor, 85, storyteller with a passion for travel


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Thelma P. Windsor, 85, of Oak Park, died on Thursday, May 23, 2013, at Rush Oak Park Hospital after a battle with cancer. Born on June 22, 1927 to Harold and Lydia Marsden of Sheffield, England, she grew up with one sibling, her late sister Patricia, and was educated at the Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School in Lincolnshire, alongside a young Margaret Thatcher.

She met George Windsor in Bathe, England, while in her 20s. They married in 1952 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1963, settling in the Chicago area. The Windsors moved to Oak Park in 1969, purchasing a home they fondly nicknamed their own "Little House on the Prairie." Although she missed England, she loved the U.S. and quickly grew to think of America — and south Oak Park, where she lived for over half her life — as her true home.

She worked full time through most of her adult life and was always a dedicated and conscientious employee. She spent the last 22 years of her career as a leasing coordinator with LaSalle Partners, from which she retired in 1995.

Mrs. Windsor devoted much of her leisure time to the pursuit of her abiding passion for world travel. A great storyteller, she loved to recount tales of her girlhood in England during World War II and of her extensive travels around the globe, including China, Japan, South America and much of Europe. Highlights included visits to St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the pyramids of Egypt, and the Acropolis of Athens. She fulfilled a longtime dream when she rounded Cape Horn in 2004 and was tickled to celebrate her 80th birthday by taking a camel ride in Egypt. Back at home, she had a great love for cats, enjoyed gardening and took pride in her impressive skills as a bargain shopper.

Even during times of profound illness, Thelma Windsor had a smile for everyone. She inspired her beloved Oak Park neighbors with her impeccable bearing and dignity, her charming English accent, and her unflagging warmth and extensive declarations of gratitude. She gave the consistent impression of a woman far younger than her years. No matter what obstacles she faced, she always retained her amazing sense of humor, her capacity to make friends wherever she went, and her ability to talk with anyone.

She was the wife of the late George P. Windsor, the cousin of Barbara Mdzewska and aunt of Peter Lewandowski and Josh Mdzewski-Niziolek, and is also survived by family in England, Poland, Canada, and Australia.

Visitation takes place May 29 from 3 p.m. until the start of the memorial service, 7:30 p.m., at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Interment is private. Memorial donations to the American Cancer Society are appreciated.

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