Thelma (Banks) Frierson

July 29, 1934 ~ September 1, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Thelma Frierson Obituary

Thelma Frierson, daughter of the late Ora B. and Rachel Singleton Banks, was born on July 29, 1934, in Pickens County, South Carolina.  She departed this life on September 1, 2023, at the age of 89. Thelma, the youngest of Rachel and Ora’s children, is preceded in death by brothers, Willie Abe Banks and Archie Lee Banks; and sisters, Inez McDowell, Bezena Magwood, Essie Thomas, Ethel Harris, Rachel Banks, and Annie Lucille Smith.

Thelma received her education at New Hope School and graduated from Sterling High School in 1953.  She was baptized at an early age at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church.  In the late seventies, Thelma started studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and she later dedicated her life to Jehovah.

Following in the footsteps of her big sisters, Inez, Bezena and Lucille, she relocated to Baltimore, Maryland in 1955 to pursue employment opportunities. On January 27, 1960, Thelma began a career at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GMBC), where she met many co-workers that became lifelong friends.  After 30-years of dedicated service, Thelma retired from GBMC in 1990.  She went on to become a certified cosmetologist and a caregiver for seniors.

Thelma was a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother.  She married the late Richard Graves, Sr., and from that union, the late Richard “Rickey” Graves, Jr. was born.  In 1983, Thelma married the love of her life, the late Caesar Frierson, Sr.  She absolutely loved and adored her granddaughter, Channell “Nell” and great-granddaughter, Chaylah.   

Thelma loved her family with all of heart. She looked forward to attending the Annual Singleton Family Reunion, which began in 1934, the same year that she was born.  Thelma was the last living grandchild of the late Susie L. and Andrew Singleton, Sr.  Thelma served as President of the Baltimore Chapter for several years. 

Thelma was kind-hearted and caring towards everyone she met.  With a memory like an elephant, she was known as the ‘family historian’.  Family loved listening to her reminisce about the ‘good old days’ and share funny stories. Some were true and some were not.  Thelma loved to talk on the telephone with her ‘hotline’.  Anything you wanted to know, just ask Thelma.  She also had a remedy for all kinds of ailments.  She was greatly loved and appreciated by her many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who often honored and showered her with gifts.  Thelma shared a special bond with her great-nephew, Eric, who affectionately named her “Butta”, which she got a kick-out of!

Thelma was admired for being fiercely strong and independent, even as she became legally blind due to a long battle with diabetes. When it became unsafe for her to live alone, she moved back to Clemson, SC. in February 2022, to reside with her niece, Malvena Palmer.  Thelma remained strong to the very end, and she still wanted to be the BOSS!

Thelma is survived by her Granddaughter, Channell Talley, (Dewayne); Great-Granddaughter, Chaylah Talley; Caregivers: nieces, Malvena Palmer and Adaja Lipscomb and nephews, Eric Palmer and Michael Magwood; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

The family is at the home, 126 McDowell Street, Pendleton, SC

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Memorial Service
October 21, 2023

2:00 PM
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness
105 S. Norris Drive
Norris, SC 29667


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