Barbara Ridgeway

Obituary of Barbara N. Ridgeway

Barbara N. Ridgeway was born January 23, 1928 in Columbia, SC and passed away on May 4, 2023.  She was the daughter of Marvin B. Neeley and Etheridge Stack Neeley and the wife of Colonel Catha L. Ridgeway, Jr. U.S. Army (R).  Barbara was a long time member of St. Luke Lutheran Church and a graduate of University High School, class of 1944.  She was also a “Feisty Bantam” forever.

Barbara excelled in her studies at every level and will always be remembered for her love of family, faithfulness and friendship to those in need of a “helping hand.” She was also the last living member of a very close circle of friends and family that stayed in touch through the years with calls, cards, birthday celebrations and visits.

Following graduation, she was employed as a secretary with War Assets Administration until that activity closed and then moved to the S. C. Board of Health.  Following a 3 year assignment with the U. S. Department of Commerce during the Korean War.  She returned to the State Board of Health in a full/part time status until health issues forced her to retire.

Barbara was an avid reader and enjoyed her crossword puzzles.  Her volunteer work was particularly noteworthy and highlighted by the time she spent at the Old Columbia Hospital as a “candy striper.”  She received numerous awards and recognition for her efforts and accomplishments in this field of endeavor.

Barbara had a passion for traveling in this country and western Canada.  She made 4 driving trips cross country going and returning differently on each occasion and visited all but 2 states (MI & ND) and most national parks.  She also traveled the east and west coasts of the U. S. from top to bottom (visiting all the highlights - including a trip to the top of Mt. Washington).  She particularly enjoyed Banff, Lake Louise, the Ice Fields and Glacier at Jasper, Vancouver and Victoria in Canada but quickly realized that no other country had a Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite or Big Sur, etc. like the good old USA.  She also took full advantage of airline super savers to fly to key cities and then travel by rental care to her vast areas of interest.  Although she made many of these trips with medical limitations, that did not impact the beauty she observed or her overall enjoyment.

Barbara was predeceased by her parents and one brother, Ted Neeley.  In addition to her husband of 77 years, she is survived by son, Bruce W. Ridgeway (Deborah Dial) of Charlotte, NC and two granddaughters, Erin E. Ridgeway of Sugar Hill, GA and Amanda Lee Ridgeway of Jasper, GA and special niece Becky Ridgeway Parker of Columbia, SC.

The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to Dr. Robert M. DaSiva, Cathy and Mike Huffstetler, Roddy and Tanya Miles, Martha and Woody Power and Colonel Byron Williams.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Luke Lutheran Church, 1127 Olympia Avenue, Columbia, SC 29201.

A private graveside service will be held on May 26th at Greenlawn Memorial Park.  

Share Your Memory of