Thordis J. Searl - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Thordis J. Searl

December 6, 1920 - December 21, 2017

Thordis J. Searl, age 97, of Newark, DE, passed away on Thursday, December 21, 2017.

Born in Stavern, Norway on December 6, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Johan and Louise (Pedersen) Johansen.  She moved to the United States when she was six years old and settled in Staten Island, NY, where she would later meet her husband and love of her life, John Searl. Thordis graduated from Hunter College in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in English.  She moved with her family to Newark, DE in 1956. Devoted to her faith, she was an active longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Newark.

Thordis was active all of her life enjoying walking, swimming, gardening and attending Aquasize classes at the YMCA for over 30 years. She loved literature, languages and words and spent untold hours solving New York Times crosswords, cryptograms, and jumble puzzles. She was a world traveler enjoying trips to Russia, China, Europe, England, Scotland, Israel, Egypt, and the Scandinavian countries in addition to exploring most of the US including Hawaii.

In addition to her parents, Thordis was preceded in death by her husband, John Searl, and brothers, John and Gunnar Johansen. She is survived by her children, Lauren S. Stayton (Andrew), John C. Searl (Ruth), Nancy P. Searl (George H. Pepper), and Stephen V. Searl (Jayne); 8 grandchildren; and 7 great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 am on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church of Newark, 292 W. Main Street, Newark, DE 19711. Interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Newark at the address listed above.


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11 Condolences for Thordis J. Searl

  • I would like the family of Thordis to know what a wonderful lady I thought she was. She was so interesting to visit with, hearing of her childhood and all the trips she had taken. We will miss her so much in our Aquasize class and at our “Mermaid” luncheons. The last lunch we had was our Christmas lunch at Wesley’s, when we also celebrated her birthday. She enjoyed celebrating her birthday and we are all so glad we were able to have a good time with her that day. I will miss her so much and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family.

  • Will miss my wonderful mother-in-law who I have known since 1961 when Lauren and I first started dating. The video brought back so many great memories. RIP Grandma.

  • Dear Lauren,
    What a beautiful video of your mother….how very special she was and what an amazing life she lived.
    I will always remember your wonderful loving family and how much your mother loved her children. She always had beautiful flowers and trees…..she had such love of the nature that surrounded her.
    My regards to your family as you celebrate the life of your mother.
    With Love,

  • Lauren, how I/weI remember Bay Terrace, Radcliffe Drive and those Searl family picnics. When she arrived at our home with John, Nancy, George, RuthAnn and Steve for breakfast before the younger folks walked the Appalachian trail. We had such a great time. She will be missed by one and all. With love, Kathy and Carl

  • Dear Lauren and family,

    We have so many wonderful memories of Your beautiful mother and we will always cherish them ! Aunt Thordis had such a sweet gentle way about her and always made you feel special and loved! I most remember the time she took me in after Grandpa passed and that week with her is etched in my mind forever. We so appreciated her hosting the family picnics and always receiving everyone with open arms. She adored her family and was so proud of all of you ! She will be missed by us all who knew and loved her !
    With loving sympathy,
    Carol and Don

  • Steve and family, Very sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Hoping warm memories bring you some comfort and help you all keep her close at this difficult time.
    Sincerely, Tom

  • I met Thordis through her work with Presbyterian Women. She was a wonderful Christian woman with a heart of gold. I will miss her very much. My prayers are with her family during this time of grief.

    A sister in Christ, Winnie

  • Although we only met Thordis a few times, she was a joy and light to her family, friends and everyone who met her. She loved life and pasted that love to all. We know this because gratefully we have Nancy and George in our lives, which makes us very rich indeed.

    We join in your grief. Please know that we too are blessed by the richness of her life and legacy.

    God bless you!

  • We knew you by many names: Mom, Thordis, Grandma, Gram, Bestemor and Toodie, just to name a few. You filled our hearts with love and joy and welcomed everyone into your home with open arms. You lived a wonderful life based on a foundation of family, friends and faith. Your spirit of adventure and love for nature lives on in us all. We were so very lucky and blessed to have you in our lives and will miss you always.

    Love, Steve

  • I have met Mrs. Searl in Southlake – Dallas with Nancy. I can see where Nancy gets her creative talents of gardening and exercising. I loved the history and the beautiful life she lived. May your family find peace and know that one day you will meet again. May God bless your family during this time of loss.

  • The Malone family lived across the street from Thordis since the mid 1960s. Everyone in the family thought the world of Thordis. She was a wonderful neighbor and special woman. She will be greatly missed.

    My prayers and thoughts are with the family.