- February 11, 2021
Visitation and church services for Theodora Olunga Ayot, 75, a resident of Chicago, formerly of Ranen Manywanda in Kenya, will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2021 from 12:00-2.30 p.m. at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home, 6510 N. Cicero Avenue in Chicago Illinois.
Theodora was a devoted family woman, beloved wife to the Late Professor Henry Okelo Ayot, Mother to Rosemary Ayot, Philip Ayot, James Ayot, Elaine Ayot, Ereena Ayot and Grandmother to Krystal Atieno and Daniel Songa.
Theodora loved education. As a young scholar she traveled to the United States under the airlift program organized by the Late Tom Mboya to complete High School and University at Hiram College in Ohio. She returned to Kenya and married the love of her life Henry Okelo Ayot. Together they raised their children while pursuing her dreams to become a lecturer at the university. Theodora’s professional career started at Moi Nairobi Girls then Kenya High School and expanded to Kenya Polytechnic. She completed her Masters at the University of Nairobi and transferred to Kenyatta University where she taught and received her PhD on the migration and settlement of the Luo in South Nyanza. In the late 90’s Theodora immigrated to the United States to begin the second phase of her professional life. She completed her sabbatical at SUNY Fredonia and proceeded on to North Park University in Chicago where she taught for 22 years until retirement in 2018.
Theodora was a member of several associations focused on political and social values of justice. She was an eloquent speaker and profound author of several books, publications and articles. Theodora traveled the world presenting her ideas in conferences and open forums of discussion. She also dedicated a lot of time and effort into philanthropy work through the Soul Source Foundation, Operation My People and the Katete Orwa Foundation.
Theodora enjoyed being around people, she always gave big hugs and ended every conversation with “I love you.” Her warm spirit, enthusiasm and zest for life will be missed.