Marjorie Ridenour - March 22, 1914 -- March 12, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 22, 1914 -- March 12, 2012

Marjorie Ridenour, the founding "Queen Mother" of Eureka Springs Red Hat Society died Monday morning, March 12, peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends.

She was born March 22, 1914 to Ethyl Louise Jack and William Arthur Mitchell, owners of the only dairy in Kirksville, Mo. She graduated from Kirksville High School and attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.

An accomplished horsewoman, she was the first student allowed to bring her two horses, Beauty and Peanuts, to college with her. Her first marriage to John D. Dennis, Jr., an osteopath, resulted in two children -- John, III (deceased) and Judy Fosshage of Demarest, N.J.

After her divorce, "Miss Margie" as she was known in Eureka, embarked on her "gypsy period" when she traveled extensively working as a bookkeeper from New Jersey to Texas to Kansas to Colorado and many states in between.

In 1952 she married Otis J. Ridenour and settled in the mountains outside Boulder, Colo., where their youngest daughter, Jan Ridenour of Eureka Springs was born. Together they founded and owned Dial Heating Company in Boulder and later Whispering Pines Motel in Estes Park, Colo.

In retirement, they again traveled the country from Florida to Texas to Colorado in their motor home. After Otis's death in 1997, she moved to Eureka Springs to be near Jan and Travis.

She graduated from Clown School at age 80, and created the petite clown, "Sadie," entertaining at many events and parades in Eureka where her free spirit blossomed.

She founded the Eureka Springs Chapter of the Red Hat Society and was Queen Mum of the Eureka Springs Vintage Ladies. Margie was known around town for her elegant red hats, purple dresses, and her special brand of fun.

She is survived by two daughters, Judy Fosshage and Jan Ridenour; two grandsons,Travis Ridenour of Eureka Springs and Mark Fosshage of Hohokus, N.J.; and four great grandchildren. All who knew and loved her will miss her bright blue eyes, her elegant attire, and zestful spirit.

As a lifelong lover of animals the family requests contributions in her name be given to the Good Shepherd Humane Society, Eureka Springs Animal Shelter

6486 Highway 62 East

Eureka Springs, AR 72632

There will be a celebration of her life on March 22, at 4 p.m. at KJ's Caribe Restaurant on US 62W -- all are welcome to attend and share photos, stories, smiles and laughter. She completed her "bucket list" of being a clown, spending a night in jail and riding with the Hell's Angels. Please join us in celebrating a life well lived.