John William Ridge, 84, passed away at his home in Sheridan surrounded by his family on Monday morning, May 10, 2021.
Born in Sheridan on July 30, 1936, he was the son of the late Jesse Melvin "Bud" Ridge and Rosanna (Perron) Ridge-DeForge.
He attended Sheridan High School and would later serve his country in the United States Army. He was a member of the Kirklin American Legion.
On May 20, 1965, he and Dianna Kay (Raines) Hollenbeck-Ridge were married.
Anyone who has lived in or around the Sheridan area for any length of time will more than likely have a story to tell about John Ridge. A fair share of those stories will involve local politics, high water bills, letters to the editor and other various issues around town that he thought needed looked in to. Mr. Ridge loved to talk – at length, tell stories and get in a good joke or two when he could. You didn’t want to run into him if you were pressed for time, but if you had the time to listen, you were in for quite an education. You always knew where you stood; he called it like he saw it and was never short on opinions. There weren't too many people around town that he didn't know, and he could usually tell you a few good stories about them. Mr. Ridge was one of a kind (not sure if Sheridan could have handled two!), and he will be missed by everyone who knew him.
Mr. Ridge was a self-made man who saw opportunity around every corner. He started his working years at the age of 14 in order to help his family make ends meet and put food on the table. He spent many years working for Pickett's Poultry and later Blackstone's Heat Treating before finding his niche. He eventually started his own company, Ridge Rubbish and Heavy Pick Up, which would later become Ridge and Sons Salvage. For many years he proudly served the town of Sheridan, as well as countless other communities around the area, getting rid of their heavy trash before "Big Trash Day" was a thing.
Mr. Ridge loved spending time with his family. He was very supportive of his sister's work to help families in need around the area. He could not stand to see anyone go hungry, and Jeannie's Food Baskets was a cause he strongly supported. Every year he would be his sister's "Secret Santa", delivering the baskets, as well as helping in any way he could throughout the year. When he had a little bit of time to relax, which wasn't often, he loved to go hunting, fishing, trapping, or any other activity that involved being together with his family.
Survivors include his loving wife, Dianna Kay (Raines) Hollenbeck-Ridge; sons, James A. "Buggy" Hollenbeck of Sheridan, and Rhyan Ballard of Kokomo; daughters, Kelly J. Ridge of Sheridan, and Jonalee Grimes (Jeff) of Sheridan; grandchildren, Cody Matthew "The Pill" Grimes, Amber, Michelle, Erica, and James; seven great-grandchildren; brothers, Rex Allen (Janice) Ridge of Seminole, Florida, and Larry Joe (Sharon) Ridge of Dartmouth, Mass.; sister-in-law, Renate Rosemarie Ridge of Sheridan; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Vernon "Brub" Ridge, Phillip A. "Phil" Ridge, and Francis "Skeet" Ridge; sisters, Elizabeth Kay "Betty" Marlow, Barbara Ann Holliday, and Doris Jeanne "Jeannie" Smith; and brothers-in-law, Ralph Leon Smith and Gerald Holliday.
Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, May 14, 2021 at Kercheval Funeral Home, 306 E. 10th St. in Sheridan. Family and friends may pay their respects from 11 a.m. until the time of service. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Crown View Cemetery in Sheridan. Pastor Vernon Heiny and Pastor Harrell Wilson will be officiating.
Memorial contributions may be presented to Kercheval Funeral Home, P.O. Box 42, Sheridan, Ind. 46069 to help defray the cost of funeral expenses.