RIDGE, JOHN EDWARD, 100, died on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at the VA Hospice unit.
A lifelong resident of Louisville, John was born on February 13, 1914, the son of John Michael Ridge and Bertha McCallister Ridge. He was their only son among six daughters, Winifred, Christine, Mary Agnes, Lillian, Alice and Anna Mae, all deceased. John attended St. Bridgett School and graduated from DuPont Manual High School in 1932. He received is B.S. degree in Economics from the University of Louisville.
John was drafted into the US Army in 1941 and was stationed in Hawaii in the coast artillery when the Pearl Harbor attack occurred. He was among the first to fire on the Japanese aircraft on that day. John married Chrissie Belle Cheatham on August 19, 1942. Their first daughter, Mary Raleigh, was born while John was serving in North Africa. He subsequently served in Sicily and Italy and fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino. John received three battlefield promotions, rising to the rank of major.
John left active duty in 1945, but continued to serve first in the National Guard and then in the Army Reserves. He was a graduate of Command General Staff College and retired as a full colonel. In civilian life he was deputy director of the Federal Housing Administration and a real estate appraiser until his full retirement when he was in his nineties. He had two more daughters, Katherine Carlton and Mary Thaddeus. His wife Chrissie died in 2000. John was a loving husband, father and grandfather.
John was a member of the Louisville Kiwanis Club, the Louisville Boat Club, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Organization, the Retired Officers Association, and a recipient of the Military Order of the World Wars. He attended Holy Spirit Church and St. Williams Church. He was a former member of the Council of Louisville of the St. Vincent De Paul Society and a director of New Directions, a program that brought affordable housing for the poor and elderly into many neighborhoods.
John received many honors and awards during his life including being inducted into the DuPont Manual Hall of Fame in 2010.
John is survived by his second wife, Jeanne Frances Doak; his daughters, Raleigh Ridge (Frank Hemko), Katherine Carlton Ridge, (Davis Marret) and Mary Thad Cedar Koons (Edward Scheps.) He also has six grandchildren, Clay Porter, Betsy Darby, Woodwyn Koons, Rowan Koons, Alex Auerbach and Peter Auerbach, and eight great-grandsons. Family and friends are invited to the visitation at Pearson Funeral Home,149 Breckenridge Lane Friday, March 28, 2014 from 3-7 p.m. and to the Funeral Mass at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church, 2119 Payne St. Followed by graveside service at Cave Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Sacred Heart Academy.
Pearson Funeral Home
149 Breckenridge Lane Louisville, KY 40207
Published in The Courier-Journal on Mar. 28, 2014