The Heroines

Thelma K. Menaker

is honored with a Brick from Jerome S. Menaker, M.D.

 Thelma K. Menaker Thelma Kornfeld Menaker was a graduate of East High, attended The University of Texas and Wichita University, graduating from the University of Illinois in 1943 Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology.

In August 1943, she married Dr. Jerome S. Menaker, then a captain in the U.S. Army. During the War years, while her husband was overseas, she worked in the personnel department at Beech Aircraft, and later as chairman of the office of Price Administration. Throughout that time she was actively serving on the Jewish Welfare Board of Kansas, in USO operations, and Kansas Red Cross.

At the conclusion of WWII when then Major Menaker returned from overseas, the couple moved to Washington D.C. for his specialty training. Thelma worked as a volunteer for the National Red Cross office in Washington during which time the excitement of reuniting displaced families in Europe was at its highest priority and most thrilling execution. Thelma was also instrumental in securing the appropriate benefits of the GI Bill for Medical Resident Doctors, which had been clouded by some obscure government regulations. Without this help some WWII veteran physicians could not have completed their training.

When the Menaker's returned to Wichita, Thelma resumed her involvement in community affairs, serving as Chairman of the Family and Children's Division of the Community Chest, Secretary of Women's Assoc. of Wichita Symphony, the Boards of the YMCA and the Wichita City Library and various other social welfare agencies in the city. She twice served as President of Hadassah Medical Organization and of the Wichita Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood, and participated in the activities of The Wichita Art Museum and The Wichita Art Association. Thelma was honored in Who’s Who in American Women and was appointed by Mayor Bill Tarrvant to the first Human Rights Commission of Wichita.

Throughout her dedication to her community, her husband Jerry, their two sons, Michael and Howard, were her first priority.

Throughout her life, her dedication to knowledge led her through graduate seminars and continuing education courses at Wichita State University for almost forty years.

Her husband says he knows of no woman more fitting of the description "A Woman of Valor" as elucidated in Proverbs: 10 through 31.

Submitted by Jerome S. Menaker, M.D.

October 28, 1998