Billy Ridley


Billy Joe RidleyJASPER Billy Joe Ridley, 81, died peacefully on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at White Oak Manor in Waxhaw, N.C., where he had been lovingly cared for the last three years.He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie Cagle Ridley; his parents, Marion Lester and Mary Margaret Cox Ridley; and his two brothers, Dan Ross Ridley and Marion Talley Ridley.His great-great-grandfather, Elisha Ridley, had settled in Marion County, Tenn., in 1839, and later in Jackson County, Ala., in 1848. Billy Joe was born on Sept. 2, 1931, in Mount Carmel, Jackson County, Ala. He moved with his family to Jasper in 1938 and grew up working on the family farm, now the site of the Jasper City Park and the elementary and high schools. He graduated from Marion County High School in 1949 having played football and basketball, and belonging to the Future Farmers of America. He volunteered for service in the United States Army in 1954, and was assigned to duty in Verdun, France. Shortly before his deployment abroad he married Bonnie Lynn Cagle of Jasper on March 19, 1955, who later joined him in France. They reconnected with their French friends in 1994, and made three return visits to Verdun.Upon discharge Mr. Ridley served a machinist apprenticeship with the Tennessee Valley Authority at the Widows Creek Steam Plant. In 1961 he and his brother, Ross, purchased Ridley Farm Equipment from their father where, together with farming, he spent the remainder of his working life. He served on the board of directors of the Marion County Farm Bureau from 1971 to 2002, and as president from 1972-1992. He also served on the board of directors of the Marion County Farmers Cooperative. He was a longtime member of the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department, serving as Assistant Chief for many years. He also served as an assistant to the Circuit Court Clerk of Marion County. He was a member of the Olive Branch Masonic Lodge, the Order of the Eastern Star where he served as Worthy Patron, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church.He is survived by his son, Dr. Marion Ridley (Mark Lundy) of Tampa, Fla.; his daughter, Lynn (Ed) Woodall and his grandsons, William and Benjamin, all of Waxhaw, N.C.; his sister, Betty Ann (Paul) Neely, of Somerset, Ky.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins, all of whom mourn his passing.The family will receive visitors at Rogers Funeral Home in Jasper from 1:30 to 3 p.m. CST on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.The service will be held in the funeral home chapel at 3 p.m. CST, the Rev. Lynn Casseday officiating.Burial will follow at Pine Grove Cemetery in Jasper with military honors provided by the Sequatchie Valley Honor Guard.Pallbearers are Greg Ridley, Chris Ridley, Ben Cagle, Clay Sisemore, William Woodall and Benjamin Woodall.In lieu of flowers the family requests that a memorial contribution be made to the Alzheimers Association, the American Cancer Society, First Baptist Church of Jasper, or another charitable organization.

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