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, Nebraska. During the couple’s almost 66 years of marriage they lived in Lamar, Wauneta and Palisade, Nebraska.
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, Nebraska; daughter Charlene Pfanstiel and husband Grant of McCook, Nebraska; son Ronald Ridlen and wife Nancy of Palisade, Nebraska; son Byron Ridlen and wife Karleen of Anthony, Kansas; daughter Rhonda Ridlen of Palisade, Nebraska; grandchildren Shawn Pfanstiel and wife Katie of Grand Island, Nebraska; Trevor Ridlen and wife Danielle of McCook, Nebraska; Russell Ridlen and wife Ashley of Oberlin, Kansas; Kim Pfanstiel of Grand Island, Nebraska; Keely Ridlen of Anthony, Kansas; and Benjamin Ridlen of Anthony, Kansas; great-grandchildren Emma Pfanstiel of Grand Island, Nebraska; Emmett Ridlen of McCook, Nebraska; Beckham Ridlen of Oberlin, Kansas and Hannah Pfanstiel of Grand Island, Nebraska; sister-in-law Marie Mader of Tacoma, Washington; sister-in-law Leola Ridlen of Aurora, Colorado; brother-in-law, Carl Ridlen and wife Virginia of Fairview, Tennessee; sister-in-law Lucille Dinnel and husband Verlon of Imperial, Nebraska; sister-in-law Deanna Ridlen of Aurora, Colorado.
Funeral services were held Thursday, August 2, 2018 at the United Methodist Church in Palisade with Pastor Elias Mukindia and Mr. Dan Lindsted officiating.
Interment will follow services in the Palisade Cemetery, Palisade, Nebraska.
Visitation was Wednesday afternoon, August 1, 2018 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 is entrusted with arrangements.