Miss Telma Mathilda Wilhelmina Ström was born in Chicago, Illinois on 15 December 1909.
She was the only daughter of Swedish immigrants, Oskar Wilhelm Ström (b. 1884) and Elna Mathilda Persdotter (b. 1882) who had married a few months before her birth on 21 September 1909. The family later settled in Indiana Harbor, Indiana and lived at 3905 Grapevine Street.
In early 1912 Telma and her mother had been visiting her grandparents on Julita farm back in Södermanland, Sweden. A few days before their planned departure to back America Telma scalded her hand on hot water and they had to postpone the trip in order for the scars to heal; the delay led to them travelling on the Titanic.
Telma and her mother boarded the Titanic Southampton on 10 April 1912 as third class passengers (ticket number 347054 which cost £10, 9s, 3d). Also was travelling with them was her married uncle Ernst Ulrik Persson. It is believed that they (the ladies) occupied cabin 6 (in section, or possibly deck, G) which they shared with Agnes Sandström and her children. Whilst on board Telma had to visit a nurse every day to have new bandages applied.
On the night of the sinking the Sandströms and the Ströms lost contact with each other on the way up to boat deck. According to her uncle Ernst, he tried to keep himself as near to his sister as he could but they arrived near the boats too late. At 02.15 when they were on the poop, Titanic made a lurch and Ernst lost the grip and never saw them again.
Elna and Telma were lost in the sinking and their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.
After his arrival in New York Telma's father Oscar tried to identify her among the children who survived. Failing that, he returned to Indiana Harbor with Ernest Persson. He was later remarried and had four children before his death in 1964.