Jean Basil Ridenour died in her sleep December 18, 2022, at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, MD. Jean was born July 25, 1926, to Herbert and Esther Gaede Basil, in Berea, OH. Jean and her younger sister, Ginny, grew up in Ohio, and in later life she was fond of telling her grandchildren stories of life in the 1930s. Once, the sisters adopted a baby squirrel, who chewed through the chimney of their dollhouse. As dolls were very expensive, Jean and Ginny would make their own paper dolls by cutting figures out of magazines.
As Jean grew older, she volunteered for her church. They organized a letter-writing campaign for local soldiers in World War II. Jean wrote to a soldier named Robert Ridenour. Bob did not write back, but years later, they would meet in the church choir. Jean and Bob married in 1947, and had one child, Janet.
Jean graduated from Baldwin Wallace College, and became a fourth grade teacher in Berea. After they retired, she and Bob traveled widely, and Jean collected figurines of historic buildings and nutcracker dolls. She was also an avid gardener and sewer, and remained friends with her sewing circle for nearly 50 years. Most of all, Jean and Bob enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren, Michael, Daniel, and Rachel.
Bob died in 2009, and some years later, Jean moved to Maryland, where most of her family lived. She was especially proud to have lived to know her great grandchildren.
Jean is survived by her daughter, Janet Ridenour Martin (and husband Alvin); grandchildren Michael (and wife Devan), Daniel (and wife Claire) and Rachel; and her great-grandchildren Solomon Robert, Samuel, and Vera.
A Memorial service will be held on Monday April 3, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Baker Osinski, Kensinger Funeral Home 206 Front St. Berea, Ohio.
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