Joseph M. "Tony" Ridgway
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81, of 1017 Tuscarawas Ave. N.W., New Philadelphia passed way in his sleep Thursday, April 10, 2014 in his home following a period of declining health. He retired in 1998 as an employee of Marlite in Dover where he worked for 10 years as a machine operator and then Production Manager until his retirement. He had previously been employed by the B&O Railroad until 1957. Born Sept. 20, 1932 near Dover (Columbia), he was the son of the late Walter and Esther (Books) Ridgway. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Alva "Hap" Ridgway, William Ridgway, Earl "Buck" Ridgway; four sisters, Jane Kime, Tess McCluney, Elva "Blondie" Herron, and twin sister, Josephine Morgan. Joe was a member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in New Philadelphia. He was a life member of the New Philadelphia Elks Lodge #510, New Philadelphia VFW Post #1445, Tuscarawas County Democratic party, and enjoyed delivering Monday Meals on Wheels with his wife for many years. He was also a member of the Tuscarawas County Senior Center.
He attended Gnadenhutten High School and later graduated with his GED from New Philadelphia High School in 1974. He is remembered as a "jack of all trades and master of most." He was an outstanding woodworker and craftsman. He remodeled his two story home inside and out. He designed and built kitchen and bath cabinets for his many family and friends. He also enjoyed working on cars including the detailing of his 1991 Oldsmobile 98 and 1985 Chevrolet pickup truck. He loved doing lawn work and enjoyed going out to eat. He was a perfectionist and offered his assistance to anyone in need. He worked on the Habitat for Humanity Homes.
Joseph will be sadly missed by his family including his wife of 61 years, Norma "Jean" Shaffer Ridgway with whom he married Feb. 15, 1953; two daughters, Linda Ridgway of New Philadelphia and Julie (Bryon) Kovalaske of Sugarcreek; two grandchildren, Ryan Kovalaske of Columbus and Megan Kovalaske of Strasburg and a sister, Elizabeth "Liz" Burtscher of New Philadelphia; brothers and sisters in law, Shirley(Dave) Savage, James (Jill) Shaffer, Jane (Mervin) Cotter, Richard Shaffer, Wendell (Nancy) Shaffer and David (Pam) Shaffer along with his feline companion, Riley. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A funeral service celebrating Joseph's life will be held Monday, April 14, 2014 beginning at 11:00am in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory at Dover with Rev. Stephen Patrick officiating. Interment will be in the East Avenue Cemetery at New Philadelphia. A reception will follow in the Toland-Herzig Monarch Center. Friends may call at the funeral home on Sunday from 2-5pm. Those unable to attend or who may wish to express a fond memory of Joseph may sign the online guestbook by visiting the "obituaries and flowers" link on the funeral home website at www.tolandherzig.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Tuscarawas County Humane Society Building Campaign, 6895 Dover- Zoar Rd. NE, Dover, Ohio 44622, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 202 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663 or the Tuscarawas County Senior Center, 425 Prospect St., Dover, Ohio 44622
Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes & Crematory
803 N Wooster Ave Dover, OH 44622
Published in The Times Reporter from Apr. 12 to Apr. 13, 2014