May 1, 1933 - July 13, 2021
Services were held Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tombstone for Betty Ridge (age 88), an 82-year resident of Tombstone who passed away peacefully in her home on July 9, 2021 from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Elizabeth B. Jacobson was born in Los Angeles, California on May 1, 1933. Following the death of her father (Raymond Jacobson), she came to Tombstone in 1939 with her mother and aunt, Tombstone natives Vera Smith Jacobson and Olive Smith, to live with her uncle Hal Smith who served as the marshal of Tombstone for many years. Betty attended Tombstone schools and graduated from Tombstone High as valedictorian in 1951. On August 11th of that same year, she married Benjamin F. Ridge, Jr. and in the following years added to the Ridge family: Melanie (1957), Justine (1959), Sheila (1960), Monica (1962), Benjamin (1964), and Darren (1965).
Betty’s love of Tombstone was evident in her investment in the community; Betty was involved and served in a variety of community organizations including the American Legion Roy Fourr Post 24, the Sacred Heart Church Altar Society, and the Tombstone City Library Board. She participated in the Tombstone Players (community theatre) and served as an election worker helping to insure the integrity of the election process and modeling civic virtue.
Education was important to Betty; she was proud not only of her children’s post secondary education but her own. After earning an Associate’s Degree from Cochise College, she went on to earn a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Arizona at age 50. Mrs. Ridge was the principal’s administrative assistant at Tombstone High School for over a decade, a substitute teacher at Walter J. Meyer Elementary School and created the Monica T. Ridge Memorial Scholarship which she maintained for almost 40 years.
Betty was a voracious reader and a talented writer and artist. She loved airplanes and flying, hot air balloons and traveling, the beauty of the Sonoran desert, Arizona’s rich history and her family’s heritage. Above all, she loved her kids.
Betty was preceded in death by her daughter Monica Ridge (in 1982) and former husband Benjamin F. Ridge, Jr. (in 2003). She is survived by her remaining children, her eight grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. In her junior year at THS, Betty wrote that her life had been full of happiness and memories that were more precious than any jewels and worth more than all the money in the world. Her wish was to find a future that was as full, happy, and content. She did, and like the town of Tombstone, Betty Ridge’s legacy is too tough to die.
To honor Betty’s memory, the family requests donations be made to the Monica T. Ridge Memorial Scholarship.
Funeral services provided by Hatfield Funeral Home in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
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