Patricia Ann (Hunt) Rider, formerly of Dayton, died January 8, 2024 in Bluffton, SC following a long battle with dementia that robbed her and her loved ones of her memories, her business acumen, her quick wit, and sound advice, but mercifully, did not take her smile, her laughter, her hugs, her love of music and dancing, or her dislike of unkind public figures.
Pat is survived by her beloved husband of 44 years, Craig Rider, who lovingly cared for her throughout her illness. As her memory and language skills declined, Pat referred to Craig as “my guy” and loved being in his presence until the very end. Pat and Craig were perfect partners in life, business and in parenting their 3 children John Tillson (Angie Mitchell), Karen Ketterer (Ed) and Ashley Hawkins (Rick). Pat’s children are incredibly grateful for the loving, wise, supportive mother and role model she was to them. Pat found immense joy in being a grandma to Tyler Tillson, Katie Ketterer, Max Ketterer, Tyler Hawkins (April Dulceak), Shelbee Mitchell, and Trey Mitchell and great-grandma to Elizabeth Hawkins. Her grandkids lovingly referred to her as Wombat, a nickname derived from Mom/Pat. Pat is remembered for her big smile and it was never bigger than when hugging one of her grandkids. Pat is also survived by her sister, Sue McNaghten (Robert), niece Marci McNaghten (Dirk Vonderlage) and nephew Matt McNaghten (Liz).
Patricia Ann Hunt was born in Oakland, CA, on October 9, 1944. She was the daughter of W. Thornley and Grace (McFarland) Hunt. Pat grew up in St. Clairsville, OH, where she delighted in walking uptown to her father’s law office, spending hours helping him with his work. Sue remembers how she showered attention on their dog Laddie and pet parakeet, Chipper Lee. Pat was a part of a group of lifelong friends called the Dandy Girls who all grew up in St. Clairsville. Through this group of friends, she started a lifetime of volunteering and community engagement. They continue to gather yearly 60 years after graduating from St. Clairsville High School in 1962. Pat is survived by Dandy Girls, Becky, Gay, Margie, Ruth Ann and Mary Ann.
Pat followed her sister to Denison University in Granville, Ohio where she was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1966. She spent the summer before she graduated as a Congressional Intern at the State Department in Washington DC. Pat later earned her teaching certificate from Otterbein University.
Pat longed to be an attorney like her father, but was ahead of her time when it came to women in professional careers and was unable to fulfill that dream. She, in turn, spent much of her career breaking barriers in male-dominated professions and empowering women to pursue their goals in positions of leadership. For every door Pat opened, she was sure to hold it open for the women who followed. The majority of Pat’s career took place in Dayton, Ohio where she settled with her family in the mid 1970’s. Pat worked at Price Waterhouse as a Financial Administrator and Recruiting Manager while Pat and Craig started their corporate outplacement business, Career Resources. As the business grew, Pat was able to join the company full time. Craig and Pat would rotate the titles of President and Vice President every three years. The business later focused on corporate teambuilding and leadership programs, renamed The Rider Group. Pat was the Director of the Leadership Dayton program, directly influencing hundreds people who would become leaders within the Dayton community, earning her the International Preceptor Award in 2001.
Pat didn’t just teach community leadership, she embodied it through her work on countless community boards and organizations. Pat was instrumental in the formation of the Montgomery County Job Center, and a founding “mother” of Clothes that Work, a program that provides business clothing to job seekers who lack financial resources. She was a founding member of the Dayton Racquet Club’s Executive Women’s Roundtable, Chairwoman of the Private Industry Council and served on the Mayor’s Council on Literacy. Pat was an advocate for the Desoto Bass housing development where she mentored young mothers and started initiatives to empower residents to gain new job skills and employment opportunities. Her community activism and leadership led to her being honored as one of Dayton’s Top Ten Women in 1998 and one of the Dayton YWCA’s Women of Influence in 2006.
Pat described herself as a doer who enjoyed finding ways to solve problems. What made her truly unique was her combination of “let’s get it done” attitude and her heart of gold. Pat believed in the dignity and worth of all people and treated everyone with empathy and respect. Many friends and colleagues have shared that “when Pat called and asked for something, you said, ‘Yes’!” She accomplished all of this while being a loving and attentive mother who helped guide her children through their accomplishments, struggles, and joys. Whoever said “you can’t do it all”, forgot to tell Pat Rider.
Pat and Craig retired to Hilton Head Island, SC, where Pat enjoyed playing with her grandkids on the beach, reading in the sun on her deck, and walking her dog, and constant companion, Skipper. She made many friends in the South Beach area of Sea Pines often gathering at The Round Bar at The Salty Dog Cafe. Pat moved to The Vineyard Memory Care Facility in Bluffton, SC 18 months before her death. At Vineyard, Pat enjoyed dancing, listening to music, and looking after her fellow residents. The family would like to thank caretakers Ann Wilkie and Mary Heaney, the Memory Care staff at Vineyard, and Hospice Care of the Lowcountry.
Pat worked hard, loved hard, and laughed hard. The memory of her smile will be carried by her family, friends, and the countless people whose lives she touched.
The family is planning a Celebration of Life this spring in Hilton Head, SC. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that friends donate in Pat’s name to Clothes That Work in Dayton, OH, Memory Matters in Hilton Head, SC, the St. Clairsville Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, or to a charity of your choice.