Charles Edward "Eddie" Ridgeway Jr.|
DUNCAN, SC-- On Sunday, March 17, 2013, the City of Spartanburg lost one of its "guardian angels" when Charles Edward "Eddie" Ridgeway Jr., who at the age of 57 lost his courageous battle with lung cancer. Born July 27, 1955, he was the son of Charles Edward Ridgeway, Sr. of Spartanburg, SC, and the late Norma Jean Rogers Newman. He was of the Baptist faith.
He was the grandson of the late Wayne (Evelyn) Ridgeway and W.A. (Marie) Rogers. In addition to his father, he is survived by his most loving, caring, and beautiful wife and best friend, Carol Cox Ridgeway; his very special daughter, Christina; and a much cherished grandson, Caden who always made him feel good regardless of how bad he felt. Also surviving is his very dear sister, Dena (Don) Bailey of Fairforest, SC; brothers, Thomas Newman (Paty) of Spartanburg, SC, and Shade Newman (Gina) of Lihue, HI; stepchildren, Kimberly Burnett of Moore, SC, Ashley Underwood of Greer, SC, LCpl. Allen Underwood, USMC (Susan) of San Diego, CA, Courtney Underwood of Simpsonville, SC, Kaitlyn Suttle of Spartanburg, SC, and Danny Earl Bostic Jr. of Wake Forrest, NC; step-grandchildren, Isaac and Elias Bostic; along with many nieces and nephews.
Eddie spent his entire adult life caring for and taking care of the citizens of the City of Spartanburg. He was a retired Lieutenant with the Spartanburg Public Safety Department with 30 years service, having worked in every division. Immediately upon his retirement, he went to Spartanburg County for two years where he served as courtroom security at the Spartanburg County Judicial Center. Upon leaving this position and until the time of his death, he was the Captain of the Greenville Technical College Police Department. He wished to thank his school family for their continued support, commitment, prayers, assistance, and accommodations made during his illness.
It has been said that Eddie was a "cops cop", a "man's man", a man of his word, passionate about his work and volunteer efforts, firm but fair, professional, and a man of integrity who took pride in seeing younger officers grow and mature under his leadership. He always wanted to leave whatever it was better than he found it.
Eddie was a caring individual who cared for his community. He taught coaches pitch and Little League baseball for young boys through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. He was the coach for the City of Spartanburg Men's Softball Team who played competitively in the parks and recreation Industrial League for several years. Later in life, he became a certified ASA softball umpire.
In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Eddie served as an Emergency Medical Technician with Croft Rescue Squad and later served as Secretary-Treasurer, Co-Captain, and Captain.
Eddie spent not only his entire law enforcement career protecting the citizens of the City of Spartanburg, he spent his entire career associated with Easter Seals dealing with children and adults with disabilities. He was always in charge of the City's BAC campaign and was instrumental over the years in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, not only by himself, but through encouraging others to participate locally and statewide. He was the first to introduce the idea of selling coffee cups, mugs, caps, and shirts in addition to the Buc-A-Cup buttons in an effort to raise additional funds. An idea that eventually caught on throughout the State. In addition he was responsible for organizing yard sales, poker runs, golf tournaments, and womanless beauty pageants. He was on the Spartanburg County Board of Easter Seals for a number of years having served as chairman for several years and later served on the South Carolina Easter Seals Board. He received very prestigious awards from Easter Seals South Carolina for his efforts and leadership, and also was the recipient of a proclamation from the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2003 for his efforts. He also donated time and financial resources to the Shriner's (of which he had many friends), Special Olympics, and Alex's Lemonade Stand. He was an avid supporter of the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Fund.
Eddie was a former member of the local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge and charter vice president of the local Police Benevolent Association. He was a longtime member of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association serving as District Chairman for Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties and the State Board of SCLEOA.
He was a former member of the "Roughnecks" Motorcycle Club, part of a national organization, and served as the first local vice president. Roughneck members are law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, and military personnel. Their annual project is to raise money through a bike ride to benefit Spartanburg Regional Hospice.
Eddie was a member of the Spartanburg Police Club since 1978 and served as its president for 20 consecutive years. His extensive accomplishments include leading the clubs rentals, administration, maintenance, and 4th of July BBQ food booth at the Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds each year. If you ate from the booth, it is likely Eddie was standing behind the grill cooking. The club worked many special events such as rodeos, tractor shows, dog shows, Indian pow wows, etc. The Police Club was a very integral part of Eddie's life where many friendships were forged, many hours of work performed, blood, sweat and tears shed due to the hard work. Once again, a place he left better than he found.
When Eddie met Carol, she was an accomplished pool player as she still is. She piqued his interest in playing and he finally joined the American Pool Players Association (APA) to shoot competitively. Eddie enjoyed his Monday nights shooting pool with his friends and family at Rascals Clubhouse. He cherished his friendship with Dave, Shelly, Bo, the staff, and other competitors. Unfortunately, Carol and Eddie did not get to attend but their team finished 64 out of 829 teams.
Eddie did not want people to grieve his death, but celebrate his many accomplishments throughout his life and career. In fact, his family can become jealous as he will be the first to be reunited with his beloved mother, of which he so adored and has greatly missed.
Visitation will be 5:00-8:00 PM Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel, 2075 E. Main St., Spartanburg, SC 29307. Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 PM Thursday, March 21, 2013, at Evangel Cathedral. The Rev. Keith Davis and the Rev. Jerry Clevenger (both of which should have some interesting memories to share) will officiate. Mr. W. C Bain Jr. will provide a eulogy at Eddie's request. Interment will be in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.
The Spartanburg Public Safety Honor Guard will present colors.
Pallbearers are Doug Harwell, John Parris, Tony Horton, Butch McNair, Bo Wolfe, Tim Stacy, Ronnie Forrester, Bob Putman, and Byron Garrison.
Honorary escort are members of the Spartanburg Public Safety Department and other law enforcement agencies.
At Eddie's request, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to cancer institutions or children's organization on his behalf.
An online guest register is available at www.floydmortuary.com.
Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel
Published in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal from 3/20/2013 - 3/21/2013.
Published in Spartanburg Herald-Journal from Mar. 20 to Mar. 22, 2013