Facebook Live Stream Funeral Service on Monday, May 11th, 2020 at 11 a.m. All are welcome to virtually attend. https://www.facebook.com/100892608298652/live/
Theda Mae (Horning) Riden of Monkton, Maryland passed away peacefully in her home at the age of 100 on May 9, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. She was extraordinarily loved by her family as their matriarch.
Theda was preceded in death by her beloved husband Darwin, and her siblings, Virginia m. Stoner, Helen, Betty m. Stewart, Walter (Pete), Ethel m. Hodge, Shirley m. Bull, Richard and Robert. She was a devoted mother to her son John, and her two adoring grandchildren, Eric and Debbie (Steve Coffey). She was a wonderful great grandmother to Eric’s children, Hannah, Olivia, John, and Sophia, and to Debbie’s children, Jack and TJ. She was a loving sister to her surviving brother Donald (Betty), and her sisters in law Joyce Horning and Joy Wagner. She was also survived by a very large extended family of nieces and nephews.
Theda was born in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania on October 2, 1919 to Walter Horning Sr. and Freda Horning and was the second of nine children. She grew up with her family in Mifflintown,and also spent many years living with her beloved grandmother Ida Carrigan. She was the first class to graduate from Juniata Joint High School in 1937.
She married Darwin, in Mifflintown, on May 6, 1938 at the age of 18, after a brief courtship. Darwin was the love of Theda’s life, and they enjoyed being happily married as best friends. Darwin passed away suddenly in 1981, and she has missed him dearly every day since then.
Theda and Darwin moved to Maryland soon after they were married, as Darwin began building his successful career in highway construction. They settled in the Northern Baltimore County area after their son John was born in 1945. Theda was a devoted mother who, along with Darwin, raised John in a loving and caring home. Theda and John enjoyed many adventures together, including their trips to visit family and their highly-anticipated annual trips to Cape May, New Jersey.
Theda was viewed as the best grandmother in the world by Eric and Debbie. They spent much of their childhood at their Gram’s house, and enjoyed learning valuable life lessons from her that they will carry with them forever. She was especially proud to become a great grandmother, and claimed that every single one of her six great grandkids was her very favorite. Theda took great joy and pride in supporting her son, grandchildren and their families through every phase of their lives, and could be counted on for her unconditional love.
Theda was very faith-filled, and active in church communities through her life. She also enjoyed participating in community organizations, serving as a Grand Matron of the Eastern Star, a member of the Port Charlotte Yacht Club in Florida, and a heralded member of a kazoo band in Harbour Heights, Florida that brought joy to the local nursing homes where they performed. An avid traveler, Theda enjoyed taking cruises and was an exceptionally talented Bingo player. Theda was also a long term 40+ year customer of her local beauty shop, where she was enthusiastically greeted each week.
Theda and Darwin spent their later years living in Monkton, Maryland on Darwin’s Choice Farm, named in recognition of Darwin making the decision to purchase the land much to Theda’s surprise. Through the years, the Farm was the treasured gathering place for her family and friends, who enjoyed its rolling hills and a fishing pond amidst a forest full of trees that Darwin planted. The kitchen table was the heart of the Farm, where all who came would gather for hours to share stories. Though Theda was first hesitant to move to what she called the “wilderness,” she grew to love the Farm and vowed to live there until her dying day. Her wish was fulfilled.
Her family and friends will forever remember celebrating Theda at her 100th birthday party in October 2019, where she received a Maryland State Proclamation, a letter from the White House, and her beautiful, smiling face was adorned on a Smucker’s Jar. At the time, she shared her tips for staying young: face every day as it comes, because what will be will be; try to treat people the way you want to be treated; get up in the morning, and think “I’ll have another day” (she never thought she would have 100 years of days); be surrounded by your family, and tell them you love them.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where Theda worked for years as a volunteer.
Drive-by viewing and visitation with the Riden Family immediately following the service from 12 noon - 12:30 pm at Evans Funeral Chapel In Monkton, Maryland. Masks required.
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