It is with great sadness that we share the news that the matriarch of our family and beloved friend to many, Patricia Ryder (Pat, Patty, Mom, Grammy, GrammyZ) passed away in the early morning of January 1, 2022. She is survived by her close friend and confidant, Vic Frederiksen, her three children, son Tom (spouse Lisa), daughter Cathy (fiancee Tim Curry), and son Michael, and her four grandchildren, TJ, Patrick, Gabriella, and Reid (spouse Mckenzie).
Pat was born in 1937 in Chester, Pennsylvania to Lois and Clinton Malseed. She was raised in Pennsylvania, Wildwood, NJ, and Sarasota, Florida. She attended Sarasota High School where she excelled in academics, basketball, and synchronized and competitive swimming. During the summers of her teenage years, Pat began what would become her calling to help others by working as a camp counselor, teaching young children to swim, sing campfire songs and enjoy nature. This is where she also developed her love and appreciation of meaningful friendships that she established and has maintained throughout her entire life. Pat had a unique talent and the ability to communicate with anyone and everyone in a friendly manner, complemented by her warm welcoming smile. Although it’s just a saying, Pat Ryder actually “never met a stranger” and because of this, she was able to touch so many people’s lives and make a complete stranger’s day, with a simple hello or a genuine and friendly compliment. This, more than any of her amazing qualities defines who she was as a person and it’s the gift she has given to her family and everyone that has been fortunate enough to know or meet her.
Pat attended Florida State University and completed her degree in Physical Therapy at New York University and then followed her calling to help others in the field of rehabilitation. She went on to work at Helen Hayes Rehabilitation Center in Rockland County, New York where she met and then married Thomas F. Ryder Jr. who was also a Physical Therapist. She lived and raised her 3 children on Hudson Ave. in Haverstraw, NY. There, Pat focused on her family as well as her extended family that included all of the neighborhood children and many of the kids that played on her children’s sports or cheerleading teams. Whether she was leading a group of kids out to sing Christmas carols or the parent driver that would pile sometimes half the team in her car to get them to games, her actions were the definition of unconditional love and support for her children and family. This was always done with an upbeat and positive attitude toward doing whatever was necessary for every situation, all while never complaining or making excuses. Pat Ryder knew how to get things done.
Later in life, Pat lived in Hoboken, NJ, Tucson, Arizona, and Wilmington, NC. She truly loved Tucson where she resided for 12 years. The desert, with its mountains, cactus, and bright sunshine proved to be a magical combination for her. As she did throughout her entire life, she met and forged lifelong friends. She also worked part-time as a Physical Therapist helping others, volunteered, and was very active playing tennis and following her beloved Arizona Wildcats basketball team. To her grandchildren, she simply became known as GrammyZona or GrammyZ for short. Of course, she loved the unique name as it kept the magical connection she had with Arizona alive for the rest of her life.
Pat moved to Wilmington NC in 2001 to be closer to her family. As much as she loved Tucson, in Patty Ryder fashion, she never looked back and embraced her new hometown. Much as she did for her own children, Pat jumped right into all of her grandchildren’s sports and attended every game and event they participated in. Every summer, her beloved granddaughter, Gabriella who lived in NYC, would come and stay with her for the entire summer. GrammyZ would teach her to swim, play tennis, and the critical art of frugal shopping…one of her favorite past times!
Pat also filled her days in Wilmington by volunteering at elementary schools as well at the Vintage Values store that supports victims of domestic violence. She also was very active in league tennis. There she became fast and very close friends with a group of women she referred to as “her girls”. They were often together playing tennis, traveling, and socializing. She put a great deal of value on her friendship as each of “her girls” relied on the other. That was never more evident than the show of support that her friends displayed throughout the last year. What completed Pat’s well-rounded life was her loving relationship with Vic Frederiksen. They have spent the last 16 years together enjoying each other’s company, spending time with family and friends, and traveling. Vic has been a great support system for her and her family, especially during her illness.
In the last year of her life, Pat…ok, enough of the formality, Mom would often say that “she was sooooo fortunate”. She was so grateful and lucky to be surrounded by friends and family that took great care of her. She referred to others that didn’t have that support with sorrow and empathy. She rarely, if ever felt sorry for herself and took her usual, do what it takes attitude to make the best of a bad situation. When she did have a sad moment, she would quickly catch herself and say “enough of that” and move on. Her most impactful statement to us was when she said, “some people feel sorry for themselves and ask, why me?” She then quickly would say “why not me? I am strong, I have lived a good life, I can handle this”.
Well, that sums up the one the only Pat Ryder!
Thank you for being the best mother, grandmother, and friend we could ever ask for. You will live in our hearts and there will never be a day that we will ever be apart.
The Ryder Family
In lieu of flowers, contributions of items of clothing or financial donations to Vintage Values, 413 S. College Road, Wilmington, NC, to aid in their support of victims of domestic violence, made in loving memory of Pat, would be greatly appreciated.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099