Althea Bergtholdt obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Althea Bergtholdt

May 21, 1922 - September 6, 2017

Obituary


Althea "Theda" Elizabeth Bergtholdt

May 21, 1922-September 6, 2017

Althea "Theda" Elizabeth Bergtholdt was born in Barnesville, Georgia, on May 21, 1922, to parents Homer Arthur Sappington and Almeda "Allie" (Means) Sappington. She attended Gordon High School and Junior College (now Gordon State College) in Barnesville, and Brenau College (now Brenau University) in Gainesville, Georgia.

She married William ("Bill") G. Gates in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Together, they adopted an infant son, William Randall, in 1948. After Bill's 1955 death in a commercial airline accident, Theda married George C. Bergtholdt, originally of Sioux City,...

Althea "Theda" Elizabeth Bergtholdt

May 21, 1922-September 6, 2017

Althea "Theda" Elizabeth Bergtholdt was born in Barnesville, Georgia, on May 21, 1922, to parents Homer Arthur Sappington and Almeda "Allie" (Means) Sappington. She attended Gordon High School and Junior College (now Gordon State College) in Barnesville, and Brenau College (now Brenau University) in Gainesville, Georgia.

She married William ("Bill") G. Gates in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Together, they adopted an infant son, William Randall, in 1948. After Bill's 1955 death in a commercial airline accident, Theda married George C. Bergtholdt, originally of Sioux City, Iowa. George and Theda lived in Tulsa and Cleveland, Ohio, before retiring to West Hyannisport, Massachusetts, in 1975.

Theda was always creative and active in the arts, from piano lessons and baton-twirling as a youngster, to professional modeling and piano performance as an adult. In addition to fashion modeling and consulting, Theda ran a modeling school in Tulsa. With musical styles ranging from Rachmaninoff to improvisation on popular tunes, "Theda B" was a popular performer at Wimpy's Restaurant, the Oyster Harbors Club, and other venues on Cape Cod. Theda was active in many organizations, including the Hyannis Yacht Club, the Garden Club of Hyannis (garnering first place ribbons in statewide competitions), bridge clubs, and music clubs. She was an active member of the Church of Christ, Scientist (though when discussing faith, she would often declare, "I'm really a Methodist.")

Theda was known for her beauty, grace, creativity, hospitality, musicianship, love of birds, and-perhaps most of all-her kindness, perseverance, and positive attitude in all circumstances. She never gave in to self-pity and never gave up. This was true to her final days, despite declining mobility and eyesight in later years. She was always cheerful and gracious, and frequently used her parents' pet phrase, "Love you the most!" at the end of a conversation or visit.

Althea was preceded in death by her parents, Brig. Gen. Homer and Mrs. Allie Sappington; her older brother, Rear Admiral Merrill Homer Sappington; her first husband, William G. Gates; her second husband, George C. Bergtholdt; her son, Randall Gates Bergtholdt; and her grandson William Joseph Jarvis.
She is survived by a great-grandson, Maddox Jarvis, as well as by a niece, two nephews, and several great and great-great nieces and nephews.

Visitation, with a time to share memories of Althea, will be held from 11am-1pm on Monday, September 18, 2017, at Doane, Beal, and Ames Funeral Home in Hyannis, Massachusetts. She will be buried immediately following at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be given in her name to Champ Homes of Cape Cod or to another favorite charity.