Joseph “Joe” Ridenour

July 2, 2019

Joseph “Joe” Ridenour of Brown County, Ind., died on July 2, 2019. He was 85.

Joe was born May 30, 1934, in Wabash, Ind., son of Dwight and Catherine (Moon) Ridenour, graduated from Indiana Central University in 1956 with a degree in music and served two years in the U.S. Army. He taught music in the Greenwood school district and then began his 56-year career as a minister in the Disciples of Christ churches in Danville, Frankfort, Speedway and Trafalgar. He retired several times and handled visitation for Speedway Christian Church until 2018.

Joe never met a stranger and was known for his smile, hugs, corny compliments and jokes. He was light-hearted and had a lifelong dedication and passion for music, his wife Sandy and his family.

His love of music was evident in the more than 100 songs he wrote, and he had a particular fondness for Bach. He was gifted at directing church and community choirs and was a member of both the community choir and band in Brown County. He started the music series at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom. At Speedway, he had a “men’s buckets choir” for men who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, as well as a Buckettes choir for the ladies.

Joe was fascinated by science and in 1974, decided he would someday donate his body to science. His body was donated to Indiana University Medical School.  Joe was a student of life and was filled with marvel and curiosity and shared his spirit of wonder freely with all those he encountered. He had the soul of a philosopher and the heart of a child which gave him the ability to look at things without cynicism.  He believed and lived by the philosophy “all you need is love.”

Visitation and Services

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 27th at Speedway Christian Church, with calling 9:30-10:30 a.m. A reception will follow the funeral at the Barn at Bay Horse Inn, 1468 Stones Crossing Rd. West, Greenwood. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to either Speedway Christian Church or St. David's Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom.

Survived by:

Survivors include his loving wife of 47 years, Sandy (Allen) Ridenour; sisters Mary Ellen, Elizabeth, Lois, Becky, and brother David; daughters Debbie (Tim) Kelley, Michelle (Dan) Scott and Julie (Steve Acton) Ridenour; sons Dan (Sherry) Ridenour, Mike (Angela) Ridenour and Jeffrey (Denise) Ridenour; grandchildren Brendan Ridenour, Sean Sandgren, Ali Starkey, Kristofer Sandgren, Nathan Scott, Joe Ridenour, Madeline Scott, Joshua Ridenour, Fiona Ridenour, Riley Dehner and Eli Dehner; and great-grandchildren Kason Sandgren and Owen Starkey. Two more great-granddaughters are due this year. 

Preceded by:

He is predeceased by his parents (1990), his brother Phillip (2015) and sister Dorothy (1949).


Leave your Condolences

7 Condolences for “Joseph “Joe” Ridenour”

  1. Preston Cross July 9, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I am so sad for you and your family. It is such a blessing to know that you guys will see him again, in heaven.

  2. Dianne Gant July 9, 2019 at 11:22 am

    So many great memories from my childhood at First Christian Church with Joe as our youth minister. Lots of fun songs that he wrote that I can still sing today. So sorry to hear of his passing. Prayers to Mike and his family in the loss of their Dad.

  3. Forest Degal July 9, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    We just learned of your loss of your dad today. I had the pleasure of meeting him at Wrigley Field, Chicago in 1980, when he and his Quartet were to sing the national anthem. It was such a great pleasure and an honor. We’re all with you in this terribly difficult time and thinking of you all. Let us know if theres anything we can do. Again,we’re all so sorry for your loss!!

  4. AJ Sloat (and Glenn too) July 10, 2019 at 12:16 am

    A good heart has stopped beating, a wonderful soul has gone to heaven, but his thought’s, hopes, and dreams live on in his family. He will never be forgotten. He will be greatly missed. To this day, every time I have a Sierra Mist I think of Joe and Sandy and smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  5. The Crew at Intrepid Financial July 12, 2019 at 9:37 am

    We were saddened to learn of the passing of Joe. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sandy and the family.

  6. Rosie Jennings July 14, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    I am so sorry to get this news and regret that I didn’t make the effort to see Joe in the past several years. He was such an influence in my life!! I probably would not have gone into music if not for Joe and I’m sure I wouldn’t have gone to Indiana Central without his guidance. I learned so much from him about Bach, feeling music from the inside, and showing love to everyone. He was very unique – one of a kind – brought joy to all those around him ! I loved him very much. My sincere sympathy to you and the family. I will be praying for comfort for you during this difficult time.

    Love, Rosie Jennings

  7. Beverly Hollandbeck July 22, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    I had met Joe a couple of times previously but got to know him in 2004 when I joined the “Dulcimers Plus” group he headed. Such a lovely man. I am so blessed to have known and loved him. I think he must have been similarly a blessing to every person he ever met. You only had to be around him a couple of minutes before you got that over-the-eyeglasses look that seemed to say you were the absolute center of his attention at that moment.

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