ROCKFORD —Rev. Lydia Hildred (Stevenson) Harrold, 98, of Rockford slipped out of our loving arms and into the arms of her dear Savior on July 22, 2013 at Alpine Fireside Health Center. She was born Nov. 11, 1914 in Saluda, Va.; daughter of Batchelor Dandridge Thurston and Louisa (Faulkner) Thurston.
Lydia graduated from God’s Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio, with a degree in liberal arts and two additional years of Bible School after her graduation.
She met her husband Edward G. Stevenson there and they became college sweethearts until their marriage in 1939 at Ellisville. Together they pastored as song evangelists, Church of the Nazarene, for 13 years throughout the U.S. and then became Pastors of Nazarene Churches in Portland, Mich., and Rochelle.
When Edward died in 1962, Lydia was called by the Rochelle Church of the Nazarene to become their Pastor where she remained as Pastor until age 86. She was united in marriage to Rev. John W. Harrold in July of l964 at Rochelle. At the time of her appointment she was one of only two female ministers in the Nazarene Northwestern IL District.
In addition to her ministerial duties, Lydia obtained her degree in practical nursing at Dixon State School where she worked part-time in the Childrens’ Ward. Lydia took an active interest in her beloved family, and often prayed with them that “the family circle would be complete Heaven.”
She is survived by her daughters, Shirley (Roger) Fransen of Rockford, and
Sharon (Roger) Dunning of El Paso, Texas; grandchildren, Lydia Hendricks,
Yvonne (Scott) Mills, Edward (Lucinda) Dunning, Roger (Miggins) Dunning II,
Steven (Lois) Dunning; 12 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; one brother, Ben (Pat) Thurston of Sarasota, Fla.; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, first husband, Rev. Edward G. Stevenson; second husband, Rev. John W. Harrold; siblings, Evelyn Thurston, Eleanor Carlton, Marion Massey, Purnell Thurston, Forest Thurston and three half-brothers Lemuel, John Iverson and Otis Thurston. Lydia’s family want to thank Heartland Hospice and Alpine Fireside Health Center for their loving care. Her three beloved caregivers, Dorothy Thompson, Barbara Folden and Maya Sonishvili were a very special blessing to her and the family.
Funeral service will be held Monday, July 29 at noon at First Church of the Nazarene, 4503 Charles St. Rockford, with visitation from 11 a.m. until time of service. Reverends Scott Sherwood and Don Turner will officiate. Internment at Greenwood Cemetery. Grace Funeral & Cremation Services is assisting the family.
To share a memory or condolence, please visit www.graceFH.com.