Thelma Zirkelbach was the recipient of Sigma Delta Tau’s first scholarship award. With a Master’s Degree in speech pathology and a Doctorate Degree in reading disorders, she has maintained a private practice for many years, working with young children. Thelma has received the Kesher Kavod Award for her professional contributions to the Jewish community and has provided services in most of the Jewish private schools in Houston, Texas. Through her work, she has empowered many young women and men.
In addition to working full time and raising three children, Thelma began writing romance novels and has published two with Jewish themes–Season of Light for Harlequin and A Candle for Nick for Silhouette. The death of her husband eight years ago propelled her from the romance genre to creative non-fiction. Since then, she has published essays in a number of anthologies. Thelma has focused on widowhood, co-editing the anthology On Our Own: Widowhood for Smarties and recently released a memoir, Stumbling Through the Dark, A Husband and Wife’s Final Year of Life Together, published by Mazo Publishers. Thelma has also taught courses for widows and is planning a proposal to teach a course on ethical wills.
Thelma’s years in SDT at the University of Oklahoma and later at the University of Texas impacted her life in many ways. Thelma says she still has many good friends from her college years and values the friendships nourished by Sigma Delta Tau.