Gerald Eldon Ridenour, 86, Cassopolis

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Born: June 28, 1927

Died: Aug. 13, 2013


Gerald Eldon Ridenour, 86

Gerald Eldon Ridenour, 86

Gerald Eldon Ridenour, 86, of Cassopolis, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 in his home after a long battle with cancer.

Gerald was born June 28, 1927 in Jenison to Charles and Anna (Boese) Ridenour. Gerald’s parents owned and operated Ridenour’s Nursery on the west side of Indian Lake, Dowagiac. He graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1945. Gerald went to work at Ross Carrier in Benton Harbor while still in high school. He then joined the Navy, serving as Fireman 1st Class aboard the aircraft carrier USS Mindoro. He returned to Ross Carrier (which eventually became Clark Equipment Company) from where he retired as shipping and receiving supervisor after 37 years of service.

Gerald married Charlene Craig in 1948. He later married Trudy Ann Gay, Nov. 16, 2001 in Hart, Mich. She survives. Gerald belonged to the Dowagiac Moose Lodge No. 933, for many years, advancing to Governor of the District. He was a member of the Indian Lake Fire Department for 25 years, a member of the Dowagiac VFW Post No. 1855, and the Dowagiac American Legion Post No. 563.

Gerald was an avid CB’er for many years known as “Geronimo” or “Moe” for short. Many in his family called him “Butch.” Gerald loved being in his 1947 Spartan Manor trailer on Black Lake, north of Walkerville, Mich., where he spent countless hours, hunting, fishing and relaxing.

Gerald will be greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Trudy (Gay-Woodrick) Ridenour of Cassopolis; one daughter, Joni (Kevin) La Violette of Friendswood, Texas; two sons, Gerald A. Ridenour of Berrien Springs, David E. Ridenour of Mishawaka; two step-daughters, Michele (Ken) Ramsey of Cassopolis, Denise (Brian) Anders of Niles; three grandchildren, Christopher Ridenour, Matthew Ridenour, both of Berrien Springs, Nicole (Scott) Saylor of Dowagiac; three step-randchildren, Joshua Miller of Cassopolis, Ashley Ramsey of Cassopolis, Dustin Anders of Niles; three great-grandchildren, Halie Saylor, Anslie Saylor and Evan Saylor; two sisters, Shirley (Lou) Spletzer of Berrien Springs, Patsy (George) Pullins of St. Joseph.

Gerald was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Donald Ridenour; and one daughter, Sherrie Ann Van der Ford.

Family and friends will gather Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. in Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 N. Broadway St., Cassopolis. Funeral services will be Saturday at 11 a.m. in Pleasant View Church of Christ, 66550 Crooked Creek Rd. (corner of M-60), Cassopolis, with Pastor Larry Settle officiating. Mr. Ridenour will be laid to rest in Mission Hills Memorial Gardens, Sumnerville.

The family prefers memorial contributions to Hospice at Home, 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph, MI 49085.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis. Please share a memory or a message online: