Celebrating the life of Willis Wade Ridley
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Mangum, Oklahoma 73554
Willis Wade Ridley, Sr. 86, passed away August 7, 2010 after a two month long illness.
Wade Ridley was born on March 20, 1924 in Carter, OK. He was the youngest of 4 children born to Henry Oscar â€˜Docâ€™ and Effie Olan (Henry) Ridley. Wadeâ€™s mother died when he was a child and he spent much of his growing up years with his grandparents, Columbus â€˜Lumâ€™ and Mollie (Thompson) Ridley. Wade grew up on a farm and enjoyed caring for the farm animals and being outdoors. Wade attended Carter Schools and always said he liked riding horses, playing baseball and basketball much more than being in class.
Wade joined the U.S. Navy as a teenager and was part of the Kodiak Detachment of the Naval Air Force Hedron Scouting Squadron VS 48 stationed in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. This was quiet an experience for a farm boy from Carter, Oklahoma and he made many lifelong friends from all over the United States with whom he stayed in close contact throughout the years. It was always entertaining for his children to hear them talk about the times in Alaska when they got together.
After the war, he returned to Beckham County and met the love of his life, Theresa (Parker) Ridley. They were married November 3, 1946 at Wheeler, Texas. A glimpse of their lives to come included a chivaree in a grocery cart after their wedding. While in Sayre, OK their children Wade, Jr. and Barbie were born. Wade worked at JF Brown and Sons Grocery in Sayre until 1959 when he began working for United Supermarkets in Elk City, OK. In late 1959, Wade and family moved to Mangum, OK and soon after he became the manager of the United. He was manager until retirement. All together Wade was associated with United over 33 years. Wade loved working at the grocery store and helping the people who worked there as well as the customers. The United was truly a family endeavor with both children working and Wade and Theresa working most evenings until 9:00. Wade seldom missed a days work and vacations were few.
After retirement, Wade and Theresa purchased and maintained a greenhouse for a short time and then later he worked part time in the local United office. Wade enjoyed retirement to the fullest and liked working in the yard and got to play golf nearly every day until his health began to fail 4 years ago.
In his early years in Mangum, Wade was active in Rotary Club, Retail Merchants, Chamber of Commerce, Little League and Prep Baseball. He enjoyed following the sports careers of his former players. He liked to watch, listen to, and read about sports activities-especially Mangum Tiger sports, Sooner football and basketball. He dearly loved taking care of the family pets throughout the years and could often be seen walking a little black and white dog. He loved spending time with his family and looked forward to the times all were together. He was a 65 year member of the American Legion and VFW and always proud to be a Veteran. Wade was a member of the Mangum Church of Christ and it should be noted that Wadeâ€™s children and grandchildren remember him reading his Bible every night until his eyesight failed recently.
Wade was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Oscar and Effie Olan Ridley, grandparents, Columbus and Mollie Ridley, brothers, George Columbus Ridley, and Fountain Ridley, sister, Willie Bonnie Galloway, and stepmother, Allie Johnson Ridley .
Wade is survived by his wife, Theresa, son Wade, Jr. and daughter-in-law Julia of Amarillo, Texas, daughter, Barbie and son-in-law, Ray Stover of Mangum, granddaughter Kristi and her husband, Don Coble of Pampa, TX, grandson, Kurt Ridley and his fiancÃ©, Rhonda Ayers of Claude, TX, granddaughter LeeAnn Roach of Wichita Falls, TX, and grandson Brad Roach of Wichita Falls TX, and great grandchildren, Holly, Presley Wade, Allie, and Hannah Ridley and Riley Coble, nephews Russell Galloway, Jerry Ridley, Buford Abeldt, Kervin Parker, Hartford Parker, Johnny Parker, and niece Ramona White.
Wade was a wonderful Husband, Daddy, Granddad and friend and will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.
Funeral services for Wade Ridley will be at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, August 10, 2010, at Riverside Cemetery under the direction of Greer Funeral Home of Mangum.
Online tributes may be made to the family at www.GreerFuneral.com
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