Winnifred Ridlon, 103
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YARMOUTH -- Winnifred (Marston) Ridlon, whose life spanned over 103 years, passed away peacefully at the Ledgeview Assisted Living facility in Cumberland Foreside on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Winnie, as she preferred to be called, was born on Nov. 23, 1909, in Toronto, Canada, the daughter of Esther S. McGuigan and James D. Marston. She grew up in Yarmouth and was the oldest graduate of North Yarmouth Academy, having been salutatorian of the Class of 1928. She was also the last survivor to graduate from Academy Hall, the brick building on the North side of Main Street. Winnie also attended Kents Hill School in Readfield, Maine, after which she was employed by the J. E. Gould wholesale drug company in Portland. It was here that she met her future husband, Elwood W. Ridlon. They were married on Nov. 23, 1932, at St. Mary's Episcopal Church on Falmouth Foreside. This was also Winnie's 23rd birthday, Thanksgiving Day, and the anniversary of her husband's parents and grandparents. The couple lived in Yarmouth until WWII, when they purchased a home in South Portland. After the war, they moved backed to Yarmouth bringing up their two children at 35 Pleasant Street. In 1962, they build a new home at 31 Bridge Street, just around the corner from where Winnie had spent her High School days at North Yarmouth Academy. She was the current holder of the Boston Post Cane in Yarmouth.
She worked for a number of years for the Canal Bank and then at the J. Weston Walch Publishing Company in Portland, where she continued part time until the age of 83. Because she regularly brought sweets and snacks she had cooked for the office, Mr. Walch encouraged her to put her recipes together and eventually the company published 'Winnie's Cook Book.' Winnie continued to live in her own home until she approached the age of 100, when she became a resident of Ledgeview Assisted Living in Cumberland Foreside.
Winnie joined Winnegance Chapter #119 of the Order of the Eastern Star in 1945 with her husband where she served as Worthy Matron for the first time in 1983. She was currently a life member of Deering Chapter #59 in Portland. After Winnie's husband passed away in 1968,
with the encouragement of her daughter-in-law, she became very involved, and traveled throughout Maine, where she acquired many lifelong friends. Many will recall Winnie's pies which she enjoyed baking for the Masonic suppers in Yarmouth. For many years she served on the Advisory Board of Yarmouth Assembly #28, International Order of Rainbow for Girls where she was lovingly known as 'Gram Ridlon', and was the recipient of the Grand Cross of Color. Winnie was also a Girl Scout leader in Yarmouth and a former President of the American Legion Auxiliary. She loved collecting Salt & Pepper shakers and accumulated over 1,200 sets, enjoyed tending out on her flower garden and taking frequent bus trips throughout the Northeast. Christmas was Winnie's favorite Holiday and she would generously shop for months before that special day, making sure everyone got their wish.
She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, and her brother, Charles D. Marston. She is survived by her daughter, Nancy and her husband Everett Jones, of Eliot, her son, Charles and his wife Sally Ridlon, of Yarmouth; five grandchildren, Katherine (Jones) Bachelder, and her husband Peter, of Ellsworth, Cheryl (Jones) Watson, and her husband John, of Eliot, Debra (Ridlon) Wilson, and her husband Michael, of Falmouth, Rebecca (Ridlon) Alexander, and her husband Jeffry, of Nashua, N.H., and David and his wife Debi Ridlon of Durham; ten great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and a niece, Drema (Marston) Shaw and her husband James, of Gorham.
The family would like to thank the staff at Ledgeview and the VNH hospice ladies for the wonderful care Winnie received. The family plans to have services in the spring with internment in Riverside Cemetery in Yarmouth. Arrangements are made with Wood Funeral Home, Fryeburg. On line condolences may be expressed to the family at www.woodfuneralhome.org
Contributions in Winnie's
name may be sent to:
The VNA Home
Health & Hospice,
50 Foden Road,
So. Portland, ME 04106.
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 22, 2013