Obituary: David Ridgway

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Apr 16, 2024

David Ridgway, 75, of Belgrade passed away Monday, April 1, 2024.

David was the first-born son of Earnest Augusta and Grace (McLaughlin) Ridgway on October 25, 1948. He was later joined by his brothers Robert, born January 8, 1951, and Dean, born April 6, 1953.

David was a lifelong resident of Montana where he graduated from Bozeman Senior High in 1970.

He spent many years as a member of Boy Scout Troop 669, sponsored by the Grace Bible Church. One highlight of scouting was in 1964 while in Grand Teton National Park, they got to meet First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and Secretary of the Interior, Stewart L. Udall, on her Beautify America Tour.

Working at the Cattlemen's Stockyards on Story Hills as a stock sorter and pusher, he developed a love of western dancing and country music. There he made friends with Gallatin counties beginning stock car racers and their crewmen. From then on, hardly a weekend went by where he wasn't dancing or waiving the drivers to victory. A big shout out goes to the Gallatin Speedway!

David moved to Billings, MT for a time and worked as a security guard at Western Security and Investigation. When he returned to Bozeman, he found work at Montana Containers until his retirement.

He met and married Judy Nelson. Together they had a daughter, May Lynn, and a son, Lance. After the passing of Judy, David found the love of his life in Diane Wilkoff. They had many adventures of hunting, fishing, and lots of dog walking until Diane passed away in 2007.

Another cherished friendship David had throughout his life was with Floyd and Meta Strickler who he affectionately called "Dad and Mom" as well as their daughter, Lynda and her son, Chris.

David is survived by his Brother, Dean Ridgway, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Preceding David in death are his father, Earnest; mother, Grace; and brother, Robert.

He is loved and respected by many and will be missed by friends and family. He loved the Lord and shared that with others. We will miss our brother and friend.

A Viewing will be Friday, April 12th, from 9 to 10 A.M. at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service followed by the Celebration of Life at 10 A.M. The reception will follow the service.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []