Thelma Marian Brathwait (Sheperd), formally of 31 Ledyard Street, Springfield, MA, was born on May 10, 1943 in Panama to the late Marian James-Parrish and Leopoldo Shepherd. Thelma studied at República de Nicaragua Elementary School, Liceo de Señoritas Junior High. She graduated with honors from Nicolas Victoria Jaén High School. Thelma migrated from Panama to Springfield MA in 1969. Afterwards, she worked for The Springfield Summer Program and Census. In 1984, she started her career as a Correctional Officer at Hampden County Sheriffs Department, where she retired as a Corporal in 2002. The Lord called her home on Monday February 3, 2020 at the age of 76. Thelma is survived by her husband Phonzo Brathwaite Sr., her children Timothy Brathwaite (LaShunda Brathwaite) and Phonzo Brathwaite Jr. of Oklahoma, Merveina Sobers and Cescell Howard (Oswald Howard) of Springfield MA, Cordelia Ramsay of Barbados and Wendy James (Worrell James) of London, her sisters Martina Shepherd and Sonia Headley of New York, Esther Teresa Shepherd-Ball of Panama, her brothers Jorge (Virginia Shepherd) and Carlos Shepherd of New York, Tyrone Shepherd of California, Leroy and Jose Shepherd (Maria Shepherd) of Panama. She has 11 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, son in law Oswald Howard of Springfield. Also survived by sister-in-law Elenore Brathwaite of Barbados, brother in law Ralph Brathwaite of Springfield MA, friend Marcela Peart-Dickens of Panama, Phyllis Tivey of Texas, Adalene Depeiza and Junenett John of Barbados, Florence Boyce, Edna Burrows, Diana Nurse, Clearance & Barbara Howell, Olive Campbell and Annie Edge-Battle all of Springfield MA, Larene Depeiza and Gail Sobers of New York, Laverne Lowery-Allyne of N.Carolina, and Angela Wilson of Georgia. She is mourned by her Panamanian group and will be missed by all. May she rest in peace and rise in Glory.
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