Sarah Elizabeth “Betty” Thodeum, who worked as a nurse in hospitals, schools and medical practices and volunteered in tasks such as washing linens at Mary or Queen Cathedral in North Baltimore, died of unknown causes on September 2 at her home in Tucson. She was 76 years old.
Ms. Thedeum, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who moved to Maryland with her husband in 2000 to be near their children and grandchildren, worked at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Tucson before retiring several years ago. Prior to GBMC, she worked at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in the Rosedale area.
At GBMC, I worked in a medical practice and then in quality assurance in a hospital. At Franklin Square, where I started in 2000, I worked in an outpatient clinic for the Internal Medicine Residency Program.
Sharon Scozelas, a retired nurse and close friend of more than two decades, said she hired Ms. Thodeum around the same time for new nursing positions at Franklin Square Clinic. Ms. Theodium was the practice manager and Ms. Scozelas was the clinical coordinator.
“We were a really good team together. It was a very busy, very fast paced place,” said Scozelas, who now lives in Pennsylvania, with residents taking turns during the program. With patients, staff and doctors.”
“We all have job descriptions for what we do in our own setting as a nurse, and she has gone above and beyond,” Ms Scozelas said, often helping patients find resources to pay their bills.
She said that she and Mrs. Thudium developed a lasting friendship that began with the way they each approached nursing.
“It wasn’t just a job, it was an invitation and we both felt the same about it,” she said. “We bonded, our personalities intertwined.”
Former Sarah Elizabeth Holiday was born on October 3, 1945 in Baton Rouge, the fifth of six children of Frances Beulah Holiday and Lydia Ellen Jensen Holiday. Francis Holiday owned and operated Franklin Press, a still-running printing company operated and operated by family members in Baton Rouge. Mrs. Thedeum’s mother, Lydia Holiday, did not work but was trained as a nurse.
Mrs. Thodeum graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy, a high school in Baton Rouge, in 1963, and became a registered nurse after attending the School of Nursing at the College of Nursing, also in Baton Rouge.
She was married for 55 years to John French Thodium Jr., a Tucson resident who survived her. The couple married on November 11, 1967 in Baton Rouge. They raised their son and daughter in Baton Rouge, where they were active in the Catholic community through Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, St. Thomas More Catholic Church and School, St. Joseph’s Academy and Catholic High School.
Mrs. Thodeum, who early in her career treated cancer patients in radiation centres, became a School Nurse at Baton Rouge Parish Schools and also worked in a Baton Rouge family clinic while raising her family.
At one point while her children were growing up, she went back to school and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Loyola University in New Orleans.
Both her son and daughter recalled a time when they were two children when the nurturing nature of their mother made a strong impression. Within one week, I picked up two kids from the school where I worked as a nurse because they found themselves needing a temporary place to live.
Mrs. Thadium also became a caregiver for her great-aunt who lived in a nursing home in Baton Rouge. For many years, she made daily visits to see her relative.
Her son, John F. “Family was very, very important to her.”
She spent countless hours with her five grandchildren singing, reading and playing with them.
“She had a heart for children and the elderly,” said Jane Royd, her daughter who lives in Lutherville-Temonium. Children were everything to her, especially her grandchildren. …she’s been just a caregiver her whole life.”
Her daughter described her as a devout Catholic.
Mrs. Rahad said, “She used to pray the rosary every night.”
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She was an active member of Mary Queen’s Cathedral, where, in addition to washing the linens used during Mass, she worked as a Director of Weekend Mass, participated in Bible study and accompanied a priest to nursing homes to help with Mass.
Mrs. Thodeum’s son and daughter remarked that when their parents moved to Maryland in 2000, and moved to Moncton, they had come to an area where Mrs. Thodeum’s ancestors had lived for generations.
According to genealogical research by a family member, the Hollidays, who were the ancestors of Mrs. Thodium, arrived in the late 1700s in Baltimore, where Holiday Street is named for the family. One descendant, Beulah Bond Holiday, He then became an early resident of Reisterstown when the area was a settlement, according to family research.
Ms. Scozelas, a friend of Ms. Thodeum, said they were still close despite Ms. Scozelas’ relocation to Pennsylvania. They traveled with their husbands, attended each other’s family events and treated each other to lunch at Christmas every year.
“She was a great friend, a loyal friend and a loving person,” said Mrs. Scozelas.
Along with her husband, son, and daughter, Lady Thodeum is survived by her brother-in-law Brian Rahad of Lutherville Timonium; daughter-in-law Rebecca Gardner of Roxton; descendants of Daniel, Benjamin, and Ethan Rudd, of Lutherville-Temonium, and Pepper and Madeleine Theodium, of Roxton; brother and wife, Thomas “Tommy” and Bernadine Holiday of Baton Rouge; sister and wife, Cathy and Robert “Bobby” Larsen of Covington, Louisiana; And many nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass for Our Lady of Thodeum was celebrated on Friday at Mary Queen’s Cathedral, 5200 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.