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Novella Emma Riddel

Novella Emma Riddel

SEAL BEACH, CA: Grandma Riddel passed away in the afternoon on the 2nd of November 2012. Her daughter, Judy, and granddaughter, Heather, were at her side. Novella was called "Grandma" by everyone.

Grandma was born on the 16th of November 1911, in Luke, Maryland. Her father, Benjamin Kalbaugh, was a foreman for the B&O Railroad in Kaiser, WV. Her mother, Martha Hotchkiss, came to this country from Scotland with her father. They were married in 1897.

Grandma went to the Westernport, Maryland, schools, graduating in 1928 from Bruce High School. Bruce High was named after the Superintendent, Mr. Bruce, who was the grandfather of Earl Bruce, the Ohio State University football coach.

Grandma was quite the dancer. She and her brother, Andrew won many dancing trophies in the late 1920's. Grandma's family had a large house, complete with a piano, where the young people would gather to sing and dance.

Andrew moved to New Brighton to work for the Armour Meat Packing Co. While Grandma was visiting her brother, she met John Baird Riddel. John was a friend and co-worker of Andrew. Novella and John married on the 24th of December 1932. Their first son, John Lohr Riddel, was born the 24th of Oct. 1933. He died 5 1/2 months later of a childhood disease.

Grandma was a lifetime member of the Eastern Star and other local social organizations. She attended church and said her prayers every night.

She was an avid sports fan. Her favorite teams were: the LA Lakers (Kobe Bryant was her favorite), the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers. When she was in her mid 80's she had a heart attack while cheering for the Steelers.

She loved to read, play cards, stitchery and crocheting. She was always ready to mend clothing for anyone. She was always the one who insisted on doing the dishes. Even into her 90's, she would be washing windows and painting when she visited her son, Jim, in Ohio. She was always busy, her house was spotless, her garden of roses was the envy of her neighbors.

But she would drop everything to go "Garage Saleing". She had her driver's license renewed at 98 and continued to drive until 2012. She loved to travel, visiting her children in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Montana. Her last tour was this September where she visited all three of her children across the US. She always insisted on traveling alone. One of her most exciting trips was when she and her son, Jim, went to Scotland for her 90th birthday.

Preceding Grandma in death were her parents; her husband, John B. Riddel, in 1970; all of her brothers and sisters; and her infant son, John Lohr Riddel.

Surviving are her children: James Baird (Cara) Riddel of Granville, OH, William Jay (Donna Rae) Riddel of Libby, MT, and Mary Judith (Larry) Zeh of Beaver Falls, PA.

Surviving grandchildren are: John (Kim) Riddel of Danville, CA, Heather (Tim) Phillips of Newport Beach, CA, Holly Riddel of Los Angles, CA, Chad (Mary) Zeh of Beaver PA, Tod Zeh of Southern Pines, NC, Ben (Xannie) Riddel of Libby, MT, Scott Riddel of Libby, MT, Mary (Adam) Gelhausen of Spokane Valley, WA, Joel (Joni) Riddel of Libby, MT, Jenny (Jay) Bickel of Sandpoint, ID.

Surviving great-grandchildren are: Luke and Joseph Phillips, Alec, Nathalie and David Riddel, Emily Zeh, Myea and Hadley Zeh, Jay and Trent Riddel, Gracie Bickel, Katie and Aidan Gelhausen and Tyler, Sophia and Jackson Riddel.

Every summer Grandma spent weeks with all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She knew and loved them all. Her granddaughter, Heather, lived close to Grandma and was able to be with her throughout the years.

Hospice was a great help to the family through this difficult time. Grandma would be happy for you to donate to any local Hospice in her honor.

Memorial Services were held at The Community Church, Leisure World, Seal Beach, CA, on Grandma's 101st birthday, November 16, 2012. She will be buried in New Brighton, PA next to her husband.

Published in the The Advocate on Dec. 2, 2012
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