Janet E. (Kyrola) Rydin

Submitted on September 28, 2023 

Janet E. (Kyrola) Rydin, a long-time Hingham resident, passed away on September 23 at the age of 86, following a long illness.

Janet was born and raised near Sebeka, MN, a small rural town approximately halfway between Minneapolis and the Canadian border. She grew up on a dairy farm and attended a one-room country schoolhouse from 1st through 8th grade (Paddock Township Grade School, District 169). She often walked to school during snowstorms, uphill both ways. “A bad day at school with friends is better than any day doing chores on the farm,” she often told her children. She was a proud 4-H member who excelled in sewing.

After graduating from Sebeka (MN) High School in 1954 (where she was voted “First to Succeed” in her Senior Yearbook), she took the bus to Minneapolis and began working as a secretary, first in the Alumni Office at the University of Minnesota and later at International Milling Company. While in Minneapolis, Janet met Wesley Rydin – they married in 1962. After starting their family in Winona, MN, Wes’s job relocated them – and several other families – to Hingham, MA in 1967. Suddenly there was a cluster of letter R-pronouncing, pop-drinking, Vikings fans in the coastal town.

Despite leaving the farm, Janet kept her fingernails short and enjoyed digging in the dirt. She tended her garden (mostly flowers, some vegetables) and a variety of houseplants — she joked that no one bothered her when she was out weeding. During “harvest time,” she sent her children off to the neighbors’ houses with bags of cucumbers and zucchini to get rid of share. She once remarked that if she had been born at a time when women had more options, she would have enjoyed running her own nursery/garden center.

Over the years, Janet enjoyed playing tennis “with the girls,” was the first in the family to try downhill skiing (at Blue Hill, also “with the girls”), and enjoyed bicycling, hiking, and antiquing. Janet also took advantage of opportunities to travel to Canada, England, and Japan, and returned to Minnesota on a regular basis for school and family reunions but mostly to keep in touch with “her people.”

Janet was an active member at the House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Hingham for many years. She worked in the church’s office, served as Financial Secretary, baked mounds of cookies and bars, brewed gallons of coffee, cooked hotdishes as needed, and generally did whatever needed to be done (including “straightening up the pews” after church services).

Most of all, Janet was a devoted mother and grandmother. She reviewed spelling words during breakfast, kept track of multiple carpools, and often volunteered or baked for school and other events. She later worked part-time at the Talbots store in downtown Hingham. Despite moving to Hull (following Wes’s retirement) and later to Stow, MA (to be closer to her daughter and grandson following Wes’s death), Janet maintained close ties to Hingham. She returned to Hingham in 2017 to reside at Linden Ponds.

Janet was predeceased by her son (Daniel) and her husband (Wesley) and is survived by her daughter (Lisa) and grandson (Erik Lilliott), both of Stow, MA. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visiting hours on Saturday, October 7 from 9:30am-11:30am at Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel (21 Pond Street, Hingham, MA 02043) followed by burial at High Street Cemetery (Hingham). In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her memory to 4-H: https://4-h.org/support/ways-to-give/

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