Thelma May Ridlen was born on May 29, 1931 in Imperial, Nebraska to Orrant “O.M.” and Lorena (Hart) Cook. She grew up in Imperial and graduated from Chase County High School.
Thelma was united in marriage to Ray Ridlen on Aug. 10, 1952 in Palisade. During the couple’s almost 66 years of marriage they lived in Lamar, Wauneta and Palisade.
Thelma drove school bus for over 30 years. She served the Palisade School System and the Wauneta-Palisade Schools. In addition to her years of service as a bus driver, Thelma also served the area as a member of the Community Service Club in Palisade, 4-H Clubs, Girl and Boy Scouts, she was an EMT and served on the ID-RA-HA-JE Bible Camp Staff.
Thelma accepted Christ as her personal savior at the age of 12 and attended the Bible Chapel in Palisade.
Her many hobbies included baking (especially pies, rolls and cookies), noodle making, tatting, crocheting, embroidery and sewing clothes for family. She entered many items in the county fair and received Best of Show. Thelma enjoyed watching all sports, especially the Huskers and Wauneta-Palisade and loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Thelma passed away Saturday evening, July 28, 2018 at the Chase County Community Hospital in Imperial. She was 87 years of age.
She was preceded in death by her parents and son, Stanley.
Survivors include husband Ray Ridlen of Palisade; daughter Charlene (Grant) Pfanstiel of McCook, son Ronald (Nancy) Ridlen of Palisade, son Byron (Karleen) Ridlen of Anthony, Kansas and daughter Rhonda Ridlen of Palisade; grandchildren Shawn (Katie) Pfanstiel of Grand Island, Trevor (Danielle) Ridlen of McCook, Russell (Ashley) Ridlen of Oberlin, Kansas, Kim Pfanstiel of Grand Island, Keely Ridlen of Anthony, Kansas, and Benjamin Ridlen of Anthony, Kansas; great-grandchildren Emma Pfanstiel of Grand Island, Emmett Ridlen of McCook, Beckham Ridlen of Oberlin, Kansas and Hannah Pfanstiel of Grand Island; sisters-in-law Marie Mader of Tacoma, Washington, Leola Ridlen of Aurora, Colorado, Deanna Ridlen of Aurora, Colorado and Lucille (Verlon) Dinnel of Imperial; and brother-in-law Carl (Virginia) Ridlen of Fairview, Tennessee.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. CT on Thursday, Aug. 2 at the United Methodist Church in Palisade with Pastor Elias Mukindia and Mr. Dan Lindsted officiating. Interment followed services in the Palisade Cemetery, Palisade.
Visitation was held Aug. 1 at Liewer Funeral Home in Wauneta.
A memorial has been established to the Palisade Volunteer Fire Department.
Online condolences may be left at liewerfuneralhome.com,
Liewer Funeral Home of Wauneta was entrusted with arrangements.