South Portland - Thelma Cleone Phillips DiPierro passed away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by family on December 24, 2020 at the age of 95.\r\n\r\nThelma was born on July 6, 1925, at the family farmhouse in Kirby, Vermont. She was the first of four children to Harold and Elsie Orcutt Phillips. Thelma attended a one-room school house one mile from the farm until the completion of the 8th grade. The farm was sold in 1940 during the depression years and the family moved to Lyndonville, Vermont, where Thelma completed her high school education at Lyndon Institute. Thelma, who graduated from high school in 1942 at the age of 16, was too young to attend nursing school during World War II. Instead, she worked in a Springfield, Vermont factory on an assembly line operating a metal-working and fabrication machine to support the war effort.\r\n\r\nIn 1945, Thelma moved to New York City to learn the trade of X-Ray Technician in what was then the new medical field of radiology and imaging. She worked in a New York City hospital for a few years before applying for a job at the Maine Eye and Ear Hospital in Portland, Maine. Working at the Maine Eye and Ear Hospital turned out to be a life-changing event for Thelma when she met Matthew Lawrence DiPierro. Mattie worked across the street from the hospital at the Central Market on Bramhall Square. Thelma and Mattie were married in 1953 and remained so for 53 years. Making their home in South Portland, she had seven children within 11 years. In 1967 while raising their children, Thelma resumed work as an X-ray Technician at Maine Medical Center - she retired in 1990. Thelma's patient manner was indispensable in controlling a chaotic household during the child-rearing years. Mattie and Thelma loved to entertain and the door to their home was always open to friends and neighbors. Spaghetti dinners were a highlight on Sunday afternoons.\r\n\r\nThelma continued to retain ties to her roots in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont by holding onto a farmhouse that had been passed down through the family dating back to the Civil War. She had a love for history and claimed a direct line of lineage to the first crossing of the pilgrims on the Mayflower (John Howland). Thelma loved spending time in Vermont with her family during her retirement years. She attended class reunions at Lyndon Institute every five years - the last one being her 75th in 2017. After the passing of Mattie in 2006, Thelma enjoyed the kinship of her sons and daughters, her grandchildren, and her siblings Clarice, Edward, and Margaret. For the last year and a half, Thelma has resided at the Pinnacle at South Portland.\r\n \r\nThelma is survived by her children: Mark DiPierro and wife Lorraine; John DiPierro and wife Patricia; Coralie Curran and husband Gregory; Charles DiPierro and wife Colleen; Philip DiPierro; David DiPierro and wife Jillian; and Connie Onos. Thelma is survived by her twelve grandchildren: Katie DiPierro, Nicolas DiPierro, Jack DiPierro, Elsa Curran, Henry Curran, Sadie DiPierro, Greta DiPierro, Noah DiPierro, Max DiPierro, Izaak Onos, Abigail Onos, and Sydney Onos. Thelma is survived by her sisters Clarice Ruckhaus in Colorado and Margaret Pillsbury in Tennessee. She was predeceased by her husband Mattie, her parents Harold and Elsie, her brother Edward Phillips, her half-brother Raymond Goodwin, her son-in-law Steven Onos, and her grandson Ryan DiPierro.\r\n\r\nThelma was an intelligent woman and a hard worker that loved her family and always provided wise counsel to her children. She lived life to the fullest - with a great attitude, sense of humor, and an adventurous spirit that contributed to her longevity. She was loved by all and will be lovingly missed by the entire family. Rest in peace, Ma - Say hi to Mattie for us.\r\n\r\nThe family would like to extend a sincere thank you to the staff at the Pinnacle at South Portland for their professionalism, and kind and loving care for Thelma - especially with the added stress that the COVID 19 virus has placed upon the facility.\r\n\r\nA Graveside Service and Celebration of Thelma's remarkable life will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home of South Portland. To view Thelma's memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit www.ConroyTullyWalker.com.