Heloise Cleo Ridgway
Heloise Cleo Ridgway, also known as Gaga, went to Heaven on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at age of 101 ½. She was born in Cedar Hill, Marshall County, OK, the daughter of Oliver Olen Wilkerson and Nina Keortinka Bennett Wilkerson on December 26, 1919.
Heloise married Donivan Leonard Ridgway on January 27, 1940 in Perry, OK while a student at Oklahoma A&M. He preceded her in death on October 12, 2002. Donivan and Heloise's three brothers were members of Boy Scout Troop 6. They began dating while in Ardmore High School and she would ride with his parents to Donivan's football games at Oklahoma Military Academy. His team was undefeated and untied while he was there, playing end and quarterback.
After her marriage, they moved to Dallas, TX where Donivan was a student at Baylor University College of Dentistry. After graduation, they built a Dental Clinic in Lakewood on Oram Street. Heloise worked as an assistant and business manager with her husband through the 50 years of his practice. She took great pride when her son, Dr. Don Ridgway entered the practice with his father.
Heloise made her home in the last house on Worth St. in Dallas except for the two years during the Korean War when Donivan served at Ft. Sam Houston in the Dental Corps.
Heloise was a member of the Marietta Church of Christ having been baptized as a child. Donivan was an Elder at Skillman Ave Church of Christ and Highland Oaks Church of Christ in Dallas. Together they traveled to several small churches helping to spread the gospel. Their grandchildren would go with them on mission trips.
Heloise believed in being involved with her husband's hobbies. In the 1940's they began hunting and fishing in Kelly, WY with their longtime friend and guide Dave "Tex" Little. The highlight of her hunting experience was shooting a huge grizzly bear. The men made the mistake of giving her the first shot.
In the 1950's after they bought their Nash Healey, they began running Sports Car Rallies. They won the Continental Divide Rally. Heloise enjoyed riding with her husband on his Harley and at age 65, rode from Dallas to Wyoming. From fishing on Lake Texoma in their canoe as a young couple to camping in their Airstream, Heloise and Donivan enjoyed their life together.
Heloise was an avid quilter, making quilts for her grandchildren for their high school graduation. She won awards at the Dallas Quilt Show and a former member of the "Going to Pieces" quilt club in Dallas.
Genealogy became a hobby for Heloise in 1970. After proving her 3rd great grandfather fought in the American Revolution, she became a member of the Jane Douglas Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution in Dallas. Heloise has nine ancestors who fought in the Revolution.
Heloise was preceded in death by her sisters, Lovurta Beatrice Wilkerson Gurley, and Wilmuth Dorothy Wilkerson Bertine; and brothers, Dr. William Wilkerson, Clarence K. Wilkerson, and Virgle Archie Wilkerson.
She is survived by her children, Beverly Wilson, Barbara Ridgway, and Dr. Don Ridgway and wife Linda Tolleson Ridgway. Heloise had 11 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren.
Heloise touched the lives of so many with her unconditional love, generosity, and kindness. She will be forever missed.
Graveside services were held 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at the Keller Cemetery in Carter County, OK under the direction of Flanagan-Watts Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Marietta, OK.
Online guest book: wattsfuneralhome.com
Posted online on July 20, 2021