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Lydia Sophronia Depew

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“What a blessing it was to celebrate Aunt Betty's 105th Birthday with her this year! We will carry wonderful memories of her and the amazing life she...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Patti Thibedeau Kneiser - WI

“I came to know of Lydia through my stepfather Howard Thibedeau and our mother Millie Thibedeau during their time together, and followed her through...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Bob West - Clarksville, OH

“MAY THE GOD YOU LOVE, WHO LOVES YOU MORE, TAKE YOU INTO HS AARMS AND GRANT YOU PEACE. YOU WERE TRUELY ONE OF THE MOST GENUINE AND WORTHWHILE ,...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: PETER WEISS - BURTBANK, CA

“MAY THE GOD YOU LOVE, WHO LOVES YOU MORE, TAKE YOU INTO HS AARMS AND GRANT YOU PEACE. YOU WERE TRUELY ONE OF THE MOST GENUINE AND WORTHWHILE ,...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: PETER WEISS - BURTBANK, CA

“A wonderful example of what humans should be! Eternally cheerful, warm and loving...we wer privileged to have orbited your light for so long. 105...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: David Weiss - Costa Mesa, CA


Lydia Sophronia Thibedeau Depew, 105, was born on June 1, 1912 in rural Wisconsin near Shell Lake, Wisconsin and passed away August 2, 2017. She resided in Burbank, California at the time of her passing. Arrangements are under the direction of Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, California.

Lydia was the first child of Jule and Eva Thibedeau. From the time she was seven, she was given a major role in raising and caring for her younger brothers, Howard, Richard, and Juel, all now deceased. It was a responsibility she loved and an early expression of her deeply caring nature.

Lydia attended grade school in the Stone Lake, Wisconsin area. As a young teen-ager, she went to Chicago and lived with relatives while training to be a secretary/stenographer. A few years before the outbreak of World War II, she married Harold Grandlee Depew, then a Captain in the United States Army. When the war began, she and their two very young daughters, Dolores Jean and Eva Mae, followed him to military postings in Tennessee and California until Harold's separation from the Army in 1942. They then bought their home in Burbank and, in 1954, welcomed twins, William Harold and Elizabeth Ann.

By the time the twins were ready to graduate from high school, Lydia had qualified for adult equivalency certification, so she also received her diploma from John Burroughs High School in Burbank. Beginning in the war years, Lydia worked for Aeroquip until they were bought out. She then did full-time child-care until the age of 70 when she took training to be a Certified Nursing Assistant and began an entirely new career as a home health-care giver. She truly loved helping a succession of mostly older people deal with the daily difficulties imposed by their failing health. During her fifteen years of service she formed deep and enduring relationships with families of the people she cared for, as she had with families of children she had taken care of.

Lydia is survived by her three daughters, Dolores Jean (Springer), Eva Mae (Umholtz), and Elizabeth Ann (Morgan), along with son-in-laws, Tom Umholtz Sr and Ronald L. Morgan. She also leaves five grandchildren, William Springer, Gretchen Umholtz, Tom Umholtz, Kurt Umholtz, and Kenneth Morgan, as well as two step-grandchildren, Ronda Stevens and Sheri Morgan. In addition, there are six great-grandchildren, three great step-grandchildren, and four great-great step-grandchildren. Lydia was loved as "Aunt Betty" by scores of devoted nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and many others.

Lydia was preceded in death by her husband Harold in 1973 and then more recently by her son William (Bill) exactly 6 years before on August 2, 2011.