Thelma Start

Thelma Ruth (Hagen) Start, 93, of Ostrander, Minnesota passed away at Spring Valley Living, on January 26th, 2021. Thelma Ruth Start was born on a farm in rural Wisconsin, near the town of Pigeon Falls on June 15th, 1927 to Theodore Edwin and Ruth Adeline (Overby) Hagen. Thelma graduated from the Whitehall High School and moved with two of her two sisters, Viola Mae and Phyllis Marie to Minneapolis where she worked for Pillsbury where she had the unique responsibility of ordering the daily flour.

While in Minneapolis she met her husband, Carmen Leland Start, a young farmer from Mower County Minnesota at a dance at the Marigold Ballroom. Thelma married Carmen on January 1st, 1961, and together they had two children, Lisa Start (Khalilian) of Denver, Colorado and Sindy Staart, of Ocala, Florida. Thelma adored her three (3) grandchildren, Sofia Khalilian, and Seth
and Ezra Staart.

After moving to rural Southeast Minnesota, Thelma began teaching elementary school at Spring Valley, Minnesota. Thelma earned a Master’s degree in Education from Winona State University and eventually retired from teaching in 1979. Thelma loved reading and spent many hours in her retirement reading mysteries and current events.

Thelma is preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Carmen Start, and her sisters Edna Arleen Nestingen, of Blair, Wisconsin and Viola Lusikka of Oulu, Wisconsin. Her sister, Phyllis Marjamaki, resides in Oulu, Wisconsin.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made in Thelma’s name to No Kid Hungry Minnesota or recipient state of donor’s choice.

Rochester Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and condolences of Thelma may be shared at

3 thoughts on “Thelma Start

  1. She was one of a kind…sweet…fierce…and loved to read. I was only lucky to know her for such a short time. Rest in peace.

  2. Condolences to the family we have very good memories of her may she rest in peace.

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