Ada Elaine Unger Ryder
FENNVILLE, MI - Always known as Elaine, she was born in Jersey City, N.J., on March 2, 1919, and died in Fennville, Mich., on May 23, 2014.
The only child of Elward Unger and Estelle (Neu) Unger, Elaine lived in Westfield, N.J., until her marriage to Raymond Alfred Ryder on June 11, 1941. They lived in Ray's hometown of LaGrange, Ill.
Elaine was a homemaker and active volunteer beginning with room mother, Girl Scouts, volunteering for 19 years at the local community hospital as an aide and many and various duties at the First United Methodist Church in LaGrange, including President of the UMW, being a founding member of the Susanna Wesley Women's Choir and culminating with her being the first woman as President of the Board of Trustees.
In 1986, Elaine moved to Springfield where her daughters and grandchildren lived. She continued her volunteer work on the board of Ronald McDonald House and served many different positions at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield. These included being in the choir, serving as circle leader for many years and serving on the board of Presbyterian Women, serving as church librarian and founding a children's library in the church, starting a book group (Page Turners), assisting in the formation of a prayer shawl ministry and knitting group (Knit 2, Purl 2 for Mission) and being elected and ordained Deacon.
She was a more than 50-year member of PEO: in LaGrange Chapter CW and in Springfield Chapter FU. Elaine was also active and served on the board of her condo association at Turnberry Place.
Elaine is survived by three children, Susan (Roland) Cull of Springfield, Barbara (Edward) Welk of Fennville, Mich., and Jack (Deborah) Ryder of LaGrange Park, Ill. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Sarah (Derrick) Pehlman, Deborah (Robert) Sanders, Nicole (Greg) Carlson, Douglas (Brittany) Welk and Laura (Doug) Hartman. In addition there are eight great-grandchildren, Lydia Grace Pehlman, Andrew Raymond Pehlman, Grace Evelyn Carlson, Isabel Elaine Carlson, Margaret Jean Carlson Samuel Edward Carlson, Elaine Elisabeth Sanders and Mykah Lee Ryder Welk.
A memorial service was held in Fennville, Mich., where Elaine lived after suffering a stroke in 2009. A service for the placement of her ashes in Westminster Presbyterian Church's Memorial Wall will be held 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 27, with the Rev. Dr. Blythe Denham Kieffer officiating. A reception will follow on the church lawn.
Memorials may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church or the Westminster Presbyterian Church Library, 533 S. Walnut St., Springfield, IL. 62704.
Boardman-Smith Funeral Chapel is in charge of local arrangements.