Dr. Don Lee Ridgeway
Dr. Don Lee Ridgeway, servant of God, was reunited with his beloved wife in eternal life on February 10, 2020. Dr. Ridgeway was a Professor of Physics and Statistics at NC State University from 1967 - 2003.
Don earned his BS from Yale University, received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, and completed a four-year fellowship under Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling at Caltech. Don continued his research in theoretical physics throughout his life, publishing three articles on quantum field theory in his late 70s. He studied classical Greek, was conversational in Japanese and French, and spoke German in the home with his late wife and her family.
Don practiced and taught karate for more than 60 years, starting as team captain at Caltech (1959-1961). Don served as a Karate Instructor in the PE Department at NCSU from 1982–1996. He taught his own dojo, leading his last class in January 2020, and formed deep relationships with many faithful students.
He was a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church, Raleigh, and taught a Bible study Sunday School for many years. He was elected by the Church's national convention to serve three terms on the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod from 1975 - 1989.
Don was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and enjoyed hiking and skiing on Mt. Rainier. He met his wife and the love of his life, Johanna Bohacek Ridgeway, while she was a student at Vassar and he was at Yale. They married in June of 1955. Together, they loved traveling, especially visiting Johanna's family in the Czech Republic and Austria. He is survived by his two children, Eva (and Greg) May of Cary, Paul (and Laura) Ridgeway of Raleigh; grandchildren Maria May (and Shazzad Khan) and great-grandson, Dylan Khan, of Seattle; Travis (and Holly) May and great-granddaughter Sophia of San Francisco; Isaac Ridgeway and David Ridgeway of Raleigh, and his sister, Marilyn "Skeets" Sellers of Seattle.
A memorial service will be held on March 8, 2020, at 2:00 pm at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1500 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh. Those wishing to offer memorial gifts are encouraged to consider Our Savior Lutheran Church in Raleigh or the SPCA of Wake County.
Condolences may be shared at CremationSocietyNC.com