Lydia Helton Slusher-Ridings, 90, passed from this life on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, after a valiant three-year battle with cancer and (recent) dementia. She was born and lived most of her life in Tremont, Harlan County, KY. Her last several years were spent in Roanoke, VA, with family and second husband, Archie Keith Ridings. Born on January 17, 1932, Lydia grew up nourishing an interest in fashion and sewing. She excelled early at sewing in the 4-H Club at Pine Flat School, Tremont, KY, then in Home Economics at Loyall High School, Loyall, and afterwards continued learning the trade, ultimately opening her own home sewing business for private clients while attending to her roles as a wife, homemaker, and mother to six sons. Many women throughout Harlan County, KY, will remember Lydia for her beautiful, custom-tailored clothes – from professional suits/ensembles to school band uniforms and majorette outfits, and even gowns for an opera singer who took them around the world on tours. Lydia was also an avid quilter and has left a legacy of beautiful quilts with her family members.
Lydia left high school one semester before graduating to marry her (first) husband, Charles Clayton Slusher, of Page, Bell County, KY. Together for 37 years, they created a loving home environment for their six sons. After Charles’ passing in 1986, Lydia later met and married Archie Keith Ridings, originally of Fonde, Bell County, KY. They enjoyed a marriage of 32 years until Archie’s passing on July 10, 2020.
Lydia’s big family was the light of her life and the love she received from them both individually and collectively gave her life great meaning. One can only hope that the pain of her loss is tempered by the joy of having known her. Lydia is preceded in death by her parents, Elijah and Phemia (Shackleford) Helton of Tremont; brothers, Lloyd, Elijah Jr., and Dee Jackson; husbands Charles Clayton Slusher and Archie Keith Ridings; and youngest son, Roger Brian Slusher of Louisville, KY.
Lydia is survived by five sons: Charles Stephan (Steve) Slusher (Janet Leathers) of Louisville; Harry Christopher Slusher (Steven Parker) of Roanoke, VA; Aaron Clay Slusher (Eva Owens) of Cumberland, KY; Phillip Eric Slusher (Melissa Browning) of Ringgold, GA; Jeffrey Kenton Slusher (Robin Cannette) of Thurmont, MD; and, daughter-in-law April (Nabb) Slusher, Louisville.
She is also survived by ten grandchildren: Amanda (Slusher) and Kent Jennings of Louisville; Ralene Slusher and Anthony Turner of Louisville; Olivia Slusher and Ethan Slusher of Louisville; Caitlyn Slusher and Dylan Slusher of Thurmont, MD; Tyler Slusher and Jack Slusher of Ringgold, GA; Aaron Slusher of Cumberland, KY; and Melissa Blevins and husband, James, Coldiron, KY; and by four great grandchildren, Alaina Jennings, of Louisville; Emily, Ella and Ezra Blevins, all of Coldiron, KY.
Lydia was a long-time member of First Baptist Church of Loyall, KY, where she and husband Archie enjoyed being part of a loving and active worship community of seniors. A public visitation will be held 5-8 pm, Thursday, July 21, 2022, at Loyall Funeral Home, 104 Wilkerson Street, Loyall, KY. Her family will honor her with a private burial service 10 am, Friday, July 22, 2022, at Resthaven Cemetery, Keith, KY, with Pastor Deric Jeffers of First Baptist Church of Loyall officiating. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions for cancer research to the American Cancer Society at www.donate3.cancer.org. Acknowledgement cards for donations may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Family and friends may share their condolences and memories online in the obituary guestbook for Lydia at www.bianchifuneralhomes.com.