Thelma Burbank Lyford

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Chelsea, Vt. — Thelma Burbank Lyford peacefully passed away surrounded by her family at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, Vt., on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Thelma was 90 years old.

The youngest of William and Eunice Burbank’s four children, Thelma was born and raised in Chelsea. Upon graduating from the Chelsea Public School, Thelma married George C. Lyford and, together, they raised five children on the Cold Springs Farm in Chelsea. Thelma and George worked side-by-side milking an award winning Jersey herd of cattle. They sold their milk to Cabot Creamery. In addition to her duties on the farm and raising five successful children, she worked for many years at the Chelsea Home for the Aged where she was loved by the residents and staff, alike.

Referred to as “Mother Goose,” the matriarch of a large, traditional family, Thelma took great pride in her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren’s accomplishments. This was evident by her photograph-covered refrigerator and the stack of cards and letters on her kitchen table she loved to share with visitors.

She was known for her scrabble prowess, daring family and friends to try to beat her – many tried and few succeeded. She loved cooking for her family (carrot soup, raised rolls and donuts were her specialty) and took pleasure in knitting, going out for ice-cream and taking rides on the back-roads. She also enjoyed putting together puzzles, gardening, having coffee with friends and neighbors, participating in local card parties, going to high school basketball games (she faithfully traveled to home and away games decade after decade), and supporting family and friends during their respective times of need.

Thelma was a life-long animal lover and there were few times in her 90 years that a dog was not loyally by her side. Her sharp wit, precociousness, sense of humor and overall lust for life was never failing and has been passed on to her children and grand-children. Mother Goose was a friend and neighbor to many and a steadfast fixture at all Lyford and wider social gatherings – she will be sorely missed by all.

She was predeceased by George and an infant son. She is survived by her five children, Pixie Colby of Chelsea; Douglas and his wife, Karen Lyford of Chelsea; Richard and his wife, Marilyn Lyford of Chelsea; Pidy and her husband, Rich Rochefort of Lancaster, N.H.; and Alan and his wife, Kelly Lyford of Chelsea. She has 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

There will be no public calling hours. A graveside memorial service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Highland Cemetery in Chelsea.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Gifford’s Last Mile Ride, 44 South Main St., Randolph, VT 05060 or the First Branch Ambulance, PO Box 74, Chelsea, VT 05038.

A private message of sympathy for the family can be shared at www.boardwayandcilley.com.

The Boardway & Cilley Funeral Home in Chelsea will be leading all funeral arrangements.