Rita Grace Ridley was born September 24, 1920 in Dawson Springs, Kentucky and died January 2, 2020. She was the daughter of Alberta Creekmur Chester and Alton Chester and wife of Raymond Travis Ridley
She is survived by her four children, Michael Travis Ridley (Jean Carol) of Murray, Virginia Ridley Stallins (Bob, deceased) of Shelbyville, John Ridley of Bowling Green and Kenneth Ridley of Dawson Springs; seven grandchildren, Dianna Ridley Arnett (Mark), Kelly Ridley Douglas (Chris) of Murray, Kim Stallins Dobler of Bowling Green, Judy Stallins Phillips (Eric) of Shelbyville, John Bennett Ridley (Chrissi) of Bowling Green, Raymond Dyer Ridley (Bridget), Lucas Harrington Ridley; and 16 great grandchildren.
Rita Grace graduated from Dawson Springs High School (1938) and attended Western Kentucky State Teachers College (1939). She married her high school sweetheart Travis Ridley in 1940. In the late 1950’s “Ms. Rita” started an early childhood development center in her home. Later she started the first public Kindergarten at Dawson Springs Independent Schools, a true pioneer educator. During the summer months she mentored young adults as the dining room supervisor at Pennyrile State Park.
One of her most challenging occupations for 15 years was teacher and supervisor at Outwood State Hospital for special needs adults. Relying on her educational background and Christian love of others she achieved a successful career of helping the residents. Also, She served her local community in many ways, as President of the PTA, Band Boosters, Hopkins County Ethics commission, and a Hopkins County Ambassador.
At the young age of 64 she accepted a position in Frankfort as the Lt. Governor Mansion Director for 4 years, followed by several years training students at the Hopkins County Vocational School in the hospitality field. Her hospitality and entrepreneurial career continued into her mid 80’s as she converted her family home of 65 yeas into a local Bed and Breakfast entertaining many Kentucky visitors from through out the U.S. and foreign countries.
Rita loved the Lord and was a faithful and dedicated life member of the Dawson Springs Primitive Baptist Church. She was a true example of Christian Action, never met a stranger and always saw the good in everyone. There was always a place at her table for a guest to break bread together and could quickly fix a banquet for 20 or more in short notice.
Ms.Rita was an exceptional human being who enthusiastically encouraged and motivated countless youth and adults with kindness, compassion and a strong Christian influence. She was an amazing lady and greatly loved by all who knew her.
Rita Grace Ridley arrangements are in two communities:
Monday, Jan 6, 2020 Visitation 3-6 ET, Service 6pm ET
Shannon Funeral Home
1124 Main St., Shelbyville, KY
Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020, Visitation 12:00-2:00 CT, Service 2:00 p.m. CT
Primitive Baptist Church
200 Walnut Street, Dawson Springs, KY
Burial following at Rosedale Cemetery
In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy may be mailed to the
Rita Grace Ridley Scholarship fund at the College Heights Foundation, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd. Bowling Green, KY 42101 or the Primitive Baptist Church, 200 Walnut Street, Dawson Springs, Ky. 42408