Thelma Todd Dyda, 86, died Saturday, January 9, 2010 at Windsor Point Continuing Care Retirement Community. She was born in Conway, SC, on December 14, 1923, to Louis and Ellen Lucretia Todd. She was the youngest of 9 children. When she was a very small child the family moved to Hope Mills, NC, and later to Lumberton, NC.
Thelma met Leo Dyda in 1944 through a mutual friend. Leo had gotten to know the friend very well, and when this friend was killed during the War, Leo went to North Carolina to meet and pay his respects to the family. He was taken to meet Thelma, whom he had heard so much about from his friend. When he met Thelma he came up to her and said, "So you are the rebel." Leo was a Yankee from Pennsylvania; Thelma was a "reb" from North Carolina. At that time she was given the nickname Reb, the name by which she has always been known since then! Reb and Leo were married on March 22, 1946, in Memphis, TN, and spent their honeymoon in Niagara Falls, NY. They had 4 children: Nancy and her husband Alden Corley from Orange Park, FL, Sr. Mary Sygne Dyda from Blessed Sacrament Monastery, Scarsdale, NY, Pam and her husband Jerry DeNault from Fuquay-Varina, NC, and Kevin Dyda and his wife Debbie from Lantry, SD. There are 8 grandchildren, Pam's children Mike, Mario, Gabriel and Rebecca, and Kevin's children Sven, Anke', Cetan and Mato, and one great-granddaughter, Celine Dyda.
Reb, Leo and the family did a lot of moving and traveling, as Leo was in the Navy. A good bit of time was spent in Norfolk, VA, but there was also time spent in North Africa and Bermuda, where daughter Pam was born. The family was also in Tennessee and Florida at different times. Reb worked as a hair stylist, and all three of her daughters will vouch for her hair-cutting and hair-styling talent! She worked for a number of years for Mitchell's Hairstyling in Raleigh, NC. Reb was a member of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Cary.
After retiring from the Navy in September 1967, Reb and Leo bought a house in Raleigh. Leo died on November 6, 1993. Reb lived in Raleigh until 1996, when she sold the house and moved to Orange Park, FL., living near daughter Nancy and her husband Alden. Returning to NC in April of 2005, she settled in Apex at Spring Arbor Retirement Center and in 2007 to Windsor Point in Fuquay-Varina. The family wishes to extend their deep appreciation to the staff at Windsor Point for their care and special attention to their mother.
A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, January 13 at 2:30 p.m. at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Cary. Interment will follow at Raleigh Memorial Park. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, January 12 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Thomas Funeral Home, 401 N. Ennis Street, Fuquay-Varina.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Arrangements by Thomas Funeral Home.
Published in The News & Observer on January 12, 2010
Leo George Dyda
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