Shirley Ridgway Obituary (2021) – Rawlins, WY

Shirley Joan Ridgway 1931-2021 Shirley Joan Ridgway, died July 10, 2021. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, July 24 at 11:00 am at Harvestime Ministries on Ninth and Walnut Streets in Rawlins, Wyoming.

Shirley was the daughter of Katherine and Alex Morland. Born on January 25, 1931, she grew up on a farm outside of Olathe, Colorado.

She met Elmer Ridgway Sr. of Montrose, Colorado, and married them. Together they had three children, Elmer Ridgway Jr., Robert Ridgway (died in childbirth), and Susan Ridgway. An elderly Christian lady in Ouray, Colorado led her and Elmer on a born again experience with Jesus. Neither she nor Elmer realized that God was calling them to be pioneer pastors and plant churches from the ground up.

Some of the churches Ridgway pioneered and pastored included:

* In 1952, Shirley and Elmer moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and started a shop front church in Bingham Canyon, Utah; Bingham is no longer a city as it is now Kennecott Copper Mines.

* In Vernal, Utah, they pioneered a storefront Assembly of God Church; They later bought land and built on the new location.

* In Jerome, Idaho, they presided over a Church of God congregation for five years in which Elmer also served as the section presbyter.

* In Garden Grove, California, they served at an Assembly of God Church where their husband Elmer was assistant pastor for two years.

* In Yucca Valley, California, they led an Assembly of God Church and built a new facility with a preschool and Christian academy.

* In Joshua Tree, California, they built and looked after the Lighthouse Christian Center from the ground up.

They then traveled with the Assemblies of God on their MAPS RVers volunteer program for 8 years. They worked in Bible schools, church camps, and churches across the country. In the early 1990s they moved to Rawlins, Wyoming, where they helped form Harvestime Ministries and create a prison ministry at Wyoming State Penitentiary. After all, Shirley and Elmer would celebrate 50 years of service together.

Shirley loved music and played both the piano and the organ. She wrote poetry, sewed cross-stitches, and camped and drove off-road vehicles. Her favorite was discovering great restaurants. She was a great housewife and cook.

She leaves behind her son Elmer Ridgway Jr. and his wife Robyn and daughter Susan Klein (all Rawlins, Wyoming). She has 7 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great-grandchildren.

The funeral will take place on July 30 at 2:00 p.m. at Grandview Cemetery in Montrose, Colorado, where she will be next to her husband Elmer Lavon Ridgway Sr.

Instead of flowers, please make a memorial donation to Harvestime Ministries, PO Box 2084, Rawlins, Wyoming 82301.

Published by Rawlins Times July 17 to July 18, 2021.

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