Theda Wyatt Nordan Dunham

Published 10:01 am Friday, March 20, 2015

Theda Wyatt Nordan Dunham

Theda Wyatt Nordan Dunham, 93, of Birmingham died Thursday, March 19.
A longtime resident of Montevallo, Theda spent the final years of her life at Covenant Place Assisted Living in Gardendale.
Born in Clanton in Chilton County on March 28, 1921, she attended public school there through the ninth grade and then moved to Montevallo with her family in 1935. She graduated from Montevallo High School in 1938 and went on to earn a B.S. degree from Alabama College (now the University of Montevallo) in 1942. While in college, she was a campus beauty and participated in creative dance and the annual College Night competition. While a student, she was employed for three years as student secretary in the Executive Secretary’s office at Alabama College. During the summer of 1941, she worked as secretary to Dr. A.F. Harman, president of the college.
After graduation, Theda was employed as the confidential secretary to Mr. Hugh White, President of the Alabama Public Service Commission in Montgomery. In September of 1942, she married Clayton O. Nordan, Lt. U.S. Army of Abbeville. During the war years she lived with her husband in Tullahoma, Tenn. (Camp Forrest); Sparta, Wis. (Camp McCoy); Manhattan, Kan. (Ft. Riley); and Fayetteville, N.C. (Ft. Bragg). She returned to Montevallo in 1943 when Mr. Nordan was assigned to duty in the European Theatre.
From 1945 until 1946, she was employed at Alabama College as Executive Secretary. Following Mr. Nordan’s discharge from the service, he and Theda settled in Montevallo and established Nordan Hardware Co. and had three children.
From 1947-1948 Theda worked as secretary to Alabama College President John T. Caldwell, and from 1950-1951 as secretary to Dr. M.L. Orr, Sr., Head of the Department of Education.
From 1951 to 1953, Theda was the secretary and accountant, and was in charge of tenant selection for the Housing Authority of the Town of Montevallo. At the same time, she worked as bookkeeper for her husband’s hardware business.
In 1953, she was employed as secretary to R.E. Ballantine, the manager of the Westinghouse plant recently constructed on the outskirts of town. She remained there until 1958 when she resigned to become editor and bookkeeper of Times Printing Co. and The Shelby County Times Herald (Montevallo), which was owned and published by her father, W.M. “Mack” Wyatt. For a short time, Theda was also an instructor in Business Administration and Short-Hand at Alabama College.
In 1960, Theda was hired as secretary to M.S. McGehee, manager of the Alabama Power Co. district office in Montevallo. The remainder of her working life was spent with Alabama Power until 1983 when she retired as a Senior General Clerk.
After Mr. Nordan’s death in 1986, Theda married William K. Dunham of Birmingham in 1990. He preceded her in death in 2003. Others preceding her in death were her parents, W.M. Wyatt and Vedie R. Wyatt, Montevallo; her brothers, James A. Wyatt, Spring Hill, Fla., and William P. Wyatt, Montevallo; and daughters, Barbara Jan Nordan, Montevallo and Judy Nordan Trotter, Calera.
She is survived by a son, Clayton M. Nordan (Antoinette), Birmingham; granddaughter, Rachael Trotter Mandell (Eric), Montevallo, great-grandchildren, McKenzie Salter, Montevallo and Zachary Salter, Montevallo.
Theda was a dedicated member of the Montevallo Presbyterian Church where she served as a Sunday School teacher, Treasurer, and Trustee. She was a member of the Montevallo Study Club, the Yomaso Club, the Montevallo PTA, the Swim Club, and the New Horizons Club. She was also an active and generous supporter of the Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo. Theda was a loyal alumnus and supporter of the University of Montevallo all her life.
In retirement, Theda remained active in the community for many years and also traveled extensively to destinations around the world. She will be remembered by family and friends as being totally devoted to others and as someone always ready to sacrifice her own interests and comfort for the good of those around her.
A funeral service will be held at Rockco Funeral Home, 3715 Highway 25 South, Montevallo, Monday, March 23, at 2 p.m. Visitation will also be at the funeral home one hour prior to the service at 1 p.m. Interment will be at Montevallo City Cemetery.
Special thanks to her loyal caregiver, Denise Nix, as well as to the dedicated management and staff of Covenant Place in Gardendale who made her final years comfortable and fulfilling.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Montevallo Presbyterian Church or as an unrestricted gift to the University of Montevallo.