Thelma I. Birtch, a.k.a. "Thelma Lou" or "Ma", 90, of Binghamton, passed away peacefully on April 21, 2010. She was predeceased by her husband, Emmett Birtch and her son Robert "Bobby" Birtch. She is survived by her daughters, Joyce and Robert Dare, of Harpursville, and Linda Zimmer, of Binghamton; her sons, Thomas and Blanche Birtch, of Conklin, Richard and Suzanne Birtch, of Binghamton, and James and Cathy Birtch, of Colesville; her brother, Howard Smith, of Binghamton; her sister, Eleanor Sheptock, of Windsor; and a very special friend, who once was an eight year old boy that loved cookies; she is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, who knew her as "Thelma The Great"; two great-great grandchildren; and a special furry friend, D.T. Thelma enjoyed the company of her grandchildren and had a love for cooking, winning two baking contests at seniors picnic. She also enjoyed gardening, long rides in the country, shopping, a good chicken barbecue, and curly fries. Thelma spent many years working at Specialty Foods, Links, and eventually retired from Universal Instruments. She then spent her time volunteering for Chester B. Lords Adult Care and Broome Developmental Center as a senior companion. A special thank you goes to the many wonderful staff members on Ross 1 at Lourdes Hospital and to the Hospice staff as well, your kind and caring help will long be remembered.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 pm on Saturday, April 24, 2010, at Wm. R. Chase & Son Funeral Home, 737 Chenango St. with Rev. Diane E. Prentice officiating. Burial will follow at Chenango Valley Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, donations in Thelma's name may be made to Lourdes Hospice 4102 Old Vestal Rd. Vestal, N.Y. 13850

"Mom, if love could have saved you, you would have lived forever."