Gary Lee Ridgeway, 75, passed away at his home in Iowa City on July 7, 2019, after a brief illness. A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at the Eagles Club in Iowa City. Gary's body has been cremated and will be laid to rest
at a later date. Cards of condolence and/or memorials to Eagles Club in Iowa City or Vernon Cemetery may be mailed to the family at 904 W. Taylor Ave., Fairfield, IA 52556.
Gary was born Oct. 10, 1943, in Fairfield, Iowa, the son of Roy Earl and Louise (St. Clair) Ridgeway. He married Alicia Drummey. They had two children, a daughter, Dawn Ridgeway Bechtel and a son, Anthony Ridgeway. Gary entered the Army on Sept. 1, 1973, and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He married Debra Ann Watkins of Fairfield shortly after. While stationed in Hawaii they had a son, Nick Ridgeway, in 1976.
Gary graduated from Fairfield High School in 1963 and then worked with his father at his roofing business, Ridgeway Roofing, before joining the Army and becoming a surveyor. In 1977, Sgt. Ridgeway spent 180 days in Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. He was one of the first of more than 6,000 servicemen and civilian contractors who would survey, lay out and build the Army base for those who would clean up the nuclear waste in the Marshall Islands. This would later be known as the TOXIC PARADISE. Upon returning to Fairfield, Gary worked for French Reneker Associates in Fairfield and later moved to Iowa City to work for Shive-Hattery Architecture & Engineering. In 1982, he became the survey party chief for MMS Consulting in Iowa City until 2001. After retiring, he worked as a driver at Advanced Auto.
Gary is survived by wife, Debra Ridgeway; his children, Dawn Ridgeway Bechtel (Todd) and her children, Tara Helmick, Austin Helright (Allison), James Bechtel and Hunter Bechtel and one great-grandson, Leviticus Helright; and two sons, Anthony Ridgeway (Barb) and his children, Christina Lowe, Destiny Lowe, James Ridgeway (Lisa) and Quincy Ridgeway, and one great-grandson Daniel Lowe; and son, Nick Ridgeway and his children, Aidan Ridgeway and Haylee Ridgeway; and his siblings, Treva Hawbaker of Keota, Leota Boyce of Camdenton, Mo., of Louisa McCormick, Moline, Ill., Betty Leslie of Aledo, Thomas (LeAnn) Ridgeway of Anamosa and Sharon (James) Conner of Port Byron.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Louise Ridgeway; and his brother, Rex Ridgway.