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Martha A. Ridgway

1929 - 2019
Martha A. Ridgway Obituary
Martha Ann "Daisy" (Davies) Ridgway, 90, passed away Wednesday, July 24, 2019. She was the beloved mother of Dr. Marcella Ridgway, of Savoy, Ill., Eric Ridgway and Gwynlynn Weil, both of Sewickley; cherished grandmother of Vaughn Ridgway, Nathan Weil (Ayonna) and Anna Ridgway; and great-grandmother of Alayna Weil. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Gene. Martha was born April 26, 1929, in Pittsburgh. Youngest of five, she grew up on an isolated 50 acres in McDonald, Pa. and graduated in 1947 from North Fayette High School, where she was a cheerleader, editor of the school newspaper, art editor of the yearbook, member of the girls' field hockey and basketball teams, starred in class plays and was voted Most Active, Most Popular, best in Leadership and in Sense of Humor, demonstrating qualities she exemplified throughout life. A person of many and diverse talents, she briefly considered a career in art before pursuing her passion of physical education, graduating in 1951 with a bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock State College with a major in English and a minor in physical education, and where she was also a cheerleader, member of the field hockey team and of the cast of college plays. On Friday, June 13, 1952, Martha married her high school sweetheart, W. Eugene "Gene" Ridgway, at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, where Gene was stationed prior to serving in Germany during the Korean War. Upon his return, they lived in Crafton and Moon Township before moving to Sewickley Hills in 1966. Their deeply devoted partnership continued through more than 59 years of marriage until Gene's passing June 9, 2011. Martha began her teaching career in 1951 in Bethel, Pa., then Moon High School. Believing strongly in the importance of full-time parenting, she took a hiatus from teaching to raise her three children, then returned to teaching for another 15 years in the Quaker Valley School District. As a devoted and empathetic but uncompromising teacher, she valued each student as an individual and changed lives with her skilled life mentoring and unwavering support as well as physical health training. After retirement, she continued to exercise her talents in creative writing, sketching, critical thinking and athletics and to put 100 percent into everything she did, becoming a skilled golfer and active in community theater-her experience with a leading role in "On Golden Pond," likely her favorite play, sparked a subsequent interest in collecting loons. She served for years as the secretary of the German Shepherd Dog Club of Western Pennsylvania and editor of their newsletter, The Jotter. She was a member and Past Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, Sewickley Chapter 439. She enjoyed many sports, especially tennis and golf, and international travel. Known for her Danish rolls, personalized song parodies popular for "roasts" and retirements, clean and clever sense of humor, sage counsel, and elaborate gym shows produced with her students at Osbourne Elementary, she remained an avid reader and delighted in being an active part of the lives of her grandchildren.
She was interred Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at Allegheny County Memorial Park. Arrangements are by COPELAND'S.
Published in Sewickley Herald on Aug. 8, 2019
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