Lydia C. (Christensen) Ramsden

August 29, 1938 ~ January 23, 2018 (age 79)

On Wednesday, January 23, 2018 Lydia C. Ramsden passed away peacefully at her home. Lydia was born on August 29, 1938 at Ft. Sam Houston Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Her father, Marinus Christensen had emigrated from Denmark and subsequently joined the US Army Air Corps. Her mother, Virginia De La Garza Christensen had emigrated from Mexico. Lydia was raised with two sisters and one brother. Her father insisted she take the Civil Service exam and that started her on a 36-year career with the government. Starting as a GS 2 clerk typist, Lydia was rapidly promoted until she reached the position of Human Resource Manager of the Army Research Laboratory at Adelphi, Maryland. She retired in 1993 as a GS 15.

Along the way she had two daughters, Karen Howard, and Julie Hite. In 1977, while working as the Chief of Recruitment and Placement (jokingly referred to by her devoted staff as reckless and perverted), she met an Army Colonel by the name of John Ramsden. John was most impressed. On January 1, 1980, Lydia became Mrs. Lydia Ramsden, and acquired another daughter, Adrienne Ramsden. John subsequently received orders to Saudi Arabia and he and Lydia headed off in July 1980 for a fascinating two year tour in that country. Lydia continued her career there, recruiting Americans and other nationalities to supervise the construction of facilities for the Saudi Military. While there, they had the opportunity to travel to Kenya and did their own jeep safari. Returning to the Washington DC area in 1982, they purchased a townhome in Washington DC and thoroughly enjoyed living in DC and exploring the city.

In 1993 both Lydia and John fully retired and moved to Clarksville, Maryland, then to Columbia, Maryland. At that time, grandchildren became the focus of Lydia's life as she helped Karen raise three boys and a girl, and saw Adrienne raise two boys and a girl. John and Lydia enjoyed travel and spent time in Asia and Europe, to include a trip to Denmark with her siblings.  For John's 70th birthday Lydia finally agreed to trying cruising. Sixteen cruises later, after voyages in the Caribbean, to Alaska, through the Panama Canal, and all around in Europe, Lydia had become an enthusiastic patron. Lydia loved the idea of getting settled in their cabin, knowing what was on the menu, where they were going to eat for dinner, and quiet days at sea.

Lydia was an active, vibrant woman all her life, working out, jogging, riding bicycles, and enjoying life to the fullest. Never idle, she and John were both orderly, organized people.  They used to say they were meant for each other and no one else could have lived with them.

Lydia is survived by her loving husband of 38 years, two surviving devoted daughters, Karen and Adrienne, seven wonderful and caring grandchildren, Jeremy, Parker, Duncan, and Bailey Howard, and Johnny, Mark, and Kristen Schumacher, two step grandchildren, Erin and Bobby Hite, her sister, Mary Christensen, and her brother Michael Christensen. 

She will be sorely missed by all her family, her former staff from the Army Research Lab, and her many friends and neighbors. Mass of Christian Burial to be held at St. Louis Catholic Church, 12500 Clarksville Pike, Clarkesville MD on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 11a.m. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Ataxia Foundation, or the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance

Donations may be made to:

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance

National Ataxia Foundation

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