2016-06-30 / Obituaries


Theresa (Fruitti) Bates Ridgeway, 54, died June 25, 2016.

She was born March 9, 1962 to Robert Bates Jr. and Bertha Penn Bates in Fulton. They resided there for several years. She was taught the way of the Lord early on and she joined the Spencer Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church there. She participated in numerous events and church organizations over the years. Theresa also excelled in her school studies and was active in joining several curricular activities as well. Her education began in the Grove Hill Clarke County school system and extended to Thomasville with the family move. She graduated there in 1980. She continued her education but over the years however between times she met and married Ronald Ridgeway in this union God blessed them to raise three sons and two daughters. Theresa was always inspired to acquire more and more education.

Her other educational accomplishments were: A graduate of the University of Alabama in 1984 with a BA Degree. Computer Science Degree from Hobson State Technical College in 1986. Nursing diploma from Alabama Southern Thomasville in 1992. Master of Education Degree from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon in 2014 and truck  driving licenses from Florida.

She was a member of Spencer Chapel A.M.E. Church of Fulton, Chapman Beauty 501 O.E.S. Eastern Star member, choir member, and member of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Meridian, Miss.

She worked as an LPN at Meridian, Miss. from 2005-2009, Shipping Clerk at Van Zyvdrdan in Marion, Miss from 2010-2014 and an LPN at Family Helath Center in Laurel, Miss.

She leaves to cherish her memory three sons, Quentin, Bates, San Antonio, Texas, Roandl DeAndrea’ Ridgeway Jr., Dimitri  Ridgeway, Butler; two step-daughters, Shameka and Marquita Ridgeway, Butler; four grandchildren, A’Niyah and Azaria Ridgeway, Butler, Sofia and Jordan Bates, Fort Walton County, Florida; one brother, Robert Bates III, Englewood, Calif.; a stepmother, Equilla Bates, Dickinson; four stepsisters, two stepbrothers; fathers and mother-in-law, Hayse and Pearlie Tyson and John and Dora Ridgeway; six sisters-in-law and three brothers-in-law; aunts, Mary Penn, Helen Penn, Thomasville, Jewel Slaughter, Grove Hill; a host of other aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, co-workers, classmates, church families and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Robert and mother, Bertha Bates Slaughter, step-father, Ulysses Slaughter and grand baby Ameily Ridgeway.

The service was July 2 at 11 a.m. at Saint Mary’s United Methodist Church in Butler with Revs. P.K. Early, pastor and A.D. Lewis as eulogist. Peggy Brown was mistress of ceremony.  Burial was in the Liberty Cemetery.

Weatherly Studdard Funeral Home of Butler directed.

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