CARBONDALE — Lyda Mae (Stearns) Horn, 84, a lifelong resident of Carbondale, passed away at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, after a long and valiant battle with cancer.
Lyda was born July 28, 1936, to Claude and Mabel Stearns. She was born at home, the fourth of 14 children.
She graduated from Carbondale Community High School in 1954 and married her husband, Franklin on Nov. 19, 1954. Together they celebrated 62 years of marriage before his passing in 2016. Lyda dedicated her life to being an amazing wife to Frank and a loving mother to five children, grandmother to 20 and great-grandmother to 18.
She was a pioneer, an adventurer, a warrior and a life changer … all without leaving home. She was one of the first, if not the first to form a CO-ED 4-H club which was unheard of in the early 70s. She rappelled for the first time at 45 just to prove she could. She fed half of Southern Illinois (including the SIU swim team) Sunday fried chicken dinners giving kids a family when they needed one. She fought cancer with grace and courage that seems unattainable to most. She was fearless.
She only knew how to love without condition, and she had an uncanny ability to graciously accept and adapt to the difficult thing's life brought her way. She was beautiful, blessed with a creative mind, could make something special from nothing, was an accomplished seamstress and quilter, and never gave herself enough credit. Brides walked down the aisle in her dresses, cheerleaders cheered their teams while wearing the uniforms she made. Her daughters and granddaughters went on their first dates and attended proms and homecomings while wearing the dresses that she so lovingly created for them. An entire generation of babies were swaddled in her beautiful baby quilts. When it came to family there was no task too big, no cost too high. She was who we all strive to be.
Her legacy lives on in the things she taught us, the example she set, and the love she shared so willingly with everyone she knew.
Lyda is survived by her children Victoria (Greg) Sprehe of Marion, Jim (Theresa) Horn of Cobden, Tammy (John) Streuter of Carterville, Teresa (Jeff) Armit of Carbondale, Scott (Angie) Horn of Carterville; 19 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. Lyda is also survived by siblings, Robert (Marge) Stearns, Betty (Gilbert) King, Carol Forbes, Juanita Stein, Harry Stearns, Tom (Donna) Stearns, George (Linda) Stearns, Rosetta Casey, Nanusha Hammond, Dennis Stearns and Debra (Steve) McNeill.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Franklin; one daughter, Tina Marie; one grandson, Joshua; two sisters, Wilma and Lela; and four brothers, John Calvin, Frank, Richard and Randy.
Given the current COVID restrictions services will be private. There will be graveside services at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at Boskeydell Cemetery, with Pastor Robbie Smith officiating. A celebration of her life will be in the spring. It was Lyda's wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations to Boskeydell Cemetery, in care of Tammy Streuter, 510 Canary Lane, Carterville, IL 62918.
Walker Funeral Home and Crematory of Southern Illinois is entrusted with arrangements.