Joseph “Joe” Ridenour of Brown County, Ind., died on July 2, 2019. He was 85. Joe was born May 30, 1934, in Wabash, Ind., son of Dwight and Catherine (Moon) Ridenour, graduated from Indiana Central University in 1956 with a degree in music and served two years in the U.S. Army. He taught music in the Greenwood school district and then began his 56-year career as a minister in the Disciples of Christ churches in Danville, Frankfort, Speedway and Trafalgar. He retired several times and handled visitation for Speedway Christian Church until 2018.
Joe never met a stranger and was known for his smile, hugs, corny compliments and jokes. He was light-hearted and had a lifelong dedication and passion for music, his wife Sandy and his family.
His love of music was evident in the more than 100 songs he wrote, and he had a particular fondness for Bach. He was gifted at directing church and community choirs and was a member of both the community choir and band in Brown County. He started the music series at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom. At Speedway, he had a “men’s buckets choir” for men who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, as well as a Buckettes choir for the ladies.
Survivors include his loving wife of 47 years, Sandy (Allen) Ridenour; sisters Mary Ellen, Elizabeth, Lois, Becky, and brother David; daughters Debbie (Tim) Kelley, Michelle (Dan) Scott and Julie (Steve Acton) Ridenour; sons Dan (Sherry) Ridenour, Mike (Angela) Ridenour and Jeffrey (Denise) Ridenour; grandchildren Brendan Ridenour, Sean Sandgren, Ali Starkey, Kristofer Sandgren, Nathan Scott, Joe Ridenour, Madeline Scott, Joshua Ridenour, Fiona Ridenour, Riley Dehner and Eli Dehner; and great-grandchildren Kason Sandgren and Owen Starkey. Two more great-granddaughters are due this year. He is predeceased by his parents (1990), his brother Phillip (2015) and sister Dorothy (1949).
Joe was fascinated by science and in 1974, decided he would someday donate his body to science. His body was donated to Indiana University Medical School. Joe was a student of life and was filled with marvel and curiosity and shared his spirit of wonder freely with all those he encountered. He had the soul of a philosopher and the heart of a child which gave him the ability to look at things without cynicism. He believed and lived by the philosophy “all you need is love.”
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 27th at Speedway Christian Church, with calling 9:30-10:30 a.m. A reception will follow the funeral at the Barn at Bay Horse Inn, 1468 Stones Crossing Rd. West, Greenwood. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to either Speedway Christian Church or St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom. Goodwin Funeral Home, 200 S. Main St., Frankfort, is assisting the family. Please visit goodwinfuneralhome.com, where you may share a personal message with the family.