Ralph Lee Ridgeway Junior was born August 26, 1939 in Fredericks, Maryland. This life-long Catholic went to spend eternity with his Heavenly Father on November 24, 2023 . He is survived by his loving wife Rose and his three children: Christena LeBeaumont, Ralph Lee Ridgeway III, and Rachele Ridgeway. He also leaves behind 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
He grew up watching Westerns on television and this shaped his goal of living the cowboy life. These movies also gave him a love of singing and playing guitar. Starting early in his teenage years, he pursued his cowboy dreams across Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, Arizona, and Texas. Along the way he taught himself guitar and he began singing popular country songs. He would play and sing for co-workers, friends, and family.
A proper Texas love story has a man and a woman meeting while each is horseback riding. This is exactly how Lee and Rose’s love story started in 1992. His marriage to Rose gave him three step-children (Darrel, Janette, and Joan), 10 more grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. He also gained a large loving family in Rose’s two sisters, their mother, more nieces and nephews than you can shake a stick at, and a special son-in-law Jerry Davis.
In 2004, Lee and Rose started Safety Check Inspection Service. Lee worked in the field inspecting drill collars until 2022. They also bought land near Miles and coined it The Ridgeway Ranch. They enjoyed traveling together, especially when they would take their travel-trailer to Mayhill, NM and camp there with other couples. Lee served as a Corporal in the Fort Concho Calvary for many years; he and Rose both enjoyed dressing in period clothing and reenacting life at forts around west Texas.
Lee also loved old cars and collected several over the years. He made an incredible salsa. He broke and trained horses. He had an impeccably-groomed mustache. He will be greatly missed.
Mass for Lee is at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Sonora Saturday, December 2nd, at 2pm. Floral tributes should be directed to Love Funeral Home in Sonora in advance of the viewing Friday, December 1st, from 1pm-4pm.
Pallbearers are Alan Wells, Michael Marker, Lance Marker, Lorenzo Sanchez, Shane Gilbert, and Billy Gilbert.