MILLWOOD — Shirlene
G. Ridgeway, 73, lost her lengthy battle with cancer on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011,
at her Millwood home surrounded by her children.
Shirlene was born Sept. 7, 1937, in Grantsville, W.Va., to Bernard G. and Gladys Marie (Champ) Bell. Shirlene, previously of Phoenix, Ariz., had lived in Knox County since her move to Ohio in 1989.
Upon her cancer diagnosis in 2003, she was told that her life expectancy was a mere 14 months. For the next seven years, Shirlene fought against her disease with courage and grace. She had immense faith in God, and believed that He must have given her an extra amount of time because He still had work here for her to do. Her children believe that her work was to encourage and give hope to others struggling with cancer and other life-limiting diseases. Shirlene was an inspiration to many through the course of her journey.
Surviving are her son, Jeffrey Alan Wilson of Andover, N.J.; daughters, Jacqueline Wilson of Millwood and Deborah Caldera of Phoenix, Ariz.; son-in-law, Andrew Caldera of Phoenix, Ariz.; and granddaughter, Sefora Caldera also of Phoenix.
Shirlene was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Oley B. “Skipper” Bell.
A small service is planned at the House of Salvation Church in Phoenix, Ariz., where Shirlene was a member. Shirlene’s wish was that her body be donated for medical research. There will be no calling hours or funeral service. A private memorial and celebration of life will be held at her favorite park in the spring.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pelotonia, 351 W. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus, OH 43215.
The Dilley-Lasater Funeral Homes assisted the Ridgeway family with funeral arrangements.
To read Shirlene’s remarkable story or send a private online condolence to the family, go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/shirleneridgeway.com.