Graveside services for Earl E. Ridenhour were at 2 p.m., Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at Wann Cemetery in Oologah under the direction of Rice Funeral Services. Earl passed away on Thursday, July 17, 2014. He was 81.
Born on May 30, 1933 in Oologah to Raymond and Ruth (Rogers) Ridenhour, Earl was raised and educated in his birth community. One of two children, Earl was raised in a loving Christian home where he attended Sageeyah Baptist Church and was baptized in the Verdigris River.
A talented young man, he learned to play the guitar and piano by ear and often would play as his baby sister, Dixie or “Doodle Bug” as Earl liked to call her, would sing along with him. As he got older, Earl went to work alongside his father in the oil fields where he learned about life and developed his work ethic.
In October of 1951, at the age of 18, Earl enlisted in the United States Air Force. He faithfully served his country until his discharge in 1956. On Dec. 24, 1952 Earl married Lydia Henderson and their union was blessed with three children.
After the loss of his wife Lydia, Earl found happiness again with Lucia Banning on November 1, 1997. They became a blended family and Earl became dad to Lucia’s daughter, Gina.
Earl was employed by American Airlines before going on to work as a finish carpenter and heavy equipment operator for the City of Tulsa for 22 years until he retired in 2004. Earl also owned two different restaurants, the Covered Wagon in Oologah and the Ranch House in Collinsville.
A wonderful husband and father, Earl found his niche as PaPa Earl and Grandpa Earl when his grandchildren were born. He loved to sit down and teach the children things or just make them laugh. Earl enjoyed all sports, especially those his grandchildren participated in.
His favorite time of day to do just about anything was 3 p.m. All his appointments were always scheduled at that time, perhaps making it easier to remember.
This loving husband, father and grandfather will be missed by all whose lives he touched. Earl is survived by his wife of 16 years, Lucia Banning; children Daniel Ridenhour, Debbie Williams and husband James, Gina Marisa Wood and husband Michael; grandchildren Shawn, Shannon, Carrie, Danyale, Beau, Katie, Michael Jr., MeKayla, Morgan, Matthew and McKenzie; 19 great-grandchildren; and sister Dixie Lee Ridenhour Haney. Earl was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Lydia Henderson Ridenhour, son David Ridenhour and great grandson Shawn Jr.