Jessie Ridley

Obituary of Jessie M. Ridley

Jessie M. Ridley transitioned from this life to glory on March 9, 2022. She was born in Triune, Tennessee on October 21, 1929 to George and Betty (Scales) Coleman both now deceased. She was one of eleven children, of which one (Robert) survives her. Her other siblings were Willie B, Pearline, Henry, Thomas, L.C., Maggie, and three other siblings that passed at birth. She is preceded in death by her husband, James A. Ridley, Sr, and daughters Margie Ridley and Jewell McCadden, sons-in-law James Reese and Willie McCadden, and daughter-in-law Beverly Ridley. She was educated in the Williamson County Tennessee public school system, where she obtained an eighth-grade education. She began working in others’ homes at a very young age and later developed an affinity for caring for children. This love of children blossomed into a career at Riverside Hospital, where she faithfully worked in the “Nursery”. In fact, the infants ward was affectionately known as “Mrs. Ridley’s Nursery”. She didn’t have formal nurse training but inherited the gift and knowledge passed down from her mother, aunt and others who provided midwifery services. While at Riverside, she pursued her high school diploma, as she was unable to obtain it in her early years. She constantly read magazines and loved to learn new things. However, her favorite book of all was the Bible, and she instilled the love for the Word in all of her children and grandchildren. Jessie was very talented. She had a strong tenor/alto voice and could often be heard singing around the house (Precious Lord, Let Your Light Shine, church hymns). She became a gifted seamstress, as a means to “stretch the dollar”. She would often study the designs of clothes hanging on the racks in department stores, memorize the designs, make and cut her own patterns, and sew dresses and suits for her children. Once completed, the clothes looked store-bought…you could not tell the difference. From an athletic standpoint, Jessie was short but powerful and pretty quick. She even played tag football with the boys, which turned into “tackle football” when she wouldn’t stop after being tagged. She just laughed it off. Finally, she loved family gatherings and cooked as if she was feeding an army…well she did have a large family. Thanksgiving dinners were humongous. In fact, there was so much food that the dining room table swayed back-and-forth under the weight of it all. She was well-known for her potato salad and cakes (coconut, caramel with walnuts on top, pineapple upside down, lemon supreme, and chocolate-on-chocolate). Jessie was a loving but tough, driven individual. She overcame many obstacles in her life. She would not let you give up in this family…often said you can do it. She came to the Lord at an early age, and recounted many stories of her spiritual journey. One involved asking her dad to take her to church. He refused to take her, and at that very moment something fell from above in the barn hitting him in the head. Jessie commented “I told you…you should have taken me to church”. Growing up, she attended Green Grove Primitive Baptist Church in Triune Tennessee. She and her husband (James) later joined Hamilton Tabernacle Primitive Baptist Church in Nashville. When a car was not available, she gathered her family and walked approximately 4.5 miles to church in the snow. She and her family then joined Glenn’s Tabernacle Primitive Baptist Church, where she also served as an usher. When James was called to the ministry, Jessie joined in with him and faithfully served the Lord by his side. With her strong tenor voice, she often ushered in the glory of God with her singing before James stood to preach. In 1979, she helped James established 44th Avenue Baptist Church in Nashville. Upon the dissolution of 44th Avenue Baptist, she and James attended Russell Tabernacle United Primitive Baptist Church. She was known for surprising you with requests to sing, pray, read, etc. for the Lord, followed by the quote…”be ye also ready”. Her marriage to James lasted 71 years…literally a lifetime, until his death in April 2019. She first caught his eye on a hayride in 1943, but he did not see her again until three years later. She must have made some impression, as she never left his mind. They married in September 1947 and raised eight children. She also helped to guide the growth of approximately 71 grandchildren and countless “adopted” children from other family ties, high schools, colleges, churches, etc. During their marriage, they were only separated by work; otherwise, you saw them as a pair. The most common theme of any comments from family and friends is “when you saw one, you saw the other”. During their later years together, they would just sit and hold hands…they truly loved one another. Jessie is survived by her children Mary Reese, Betty (Richard) Russell, James Ridley, Jr., Lawrence Ridley, Michael (Dina) Ridley, and Trent (Myra) Ridley. She is also survived by her brother Robert Coleman and sister-in-law Sadie Amos, countless grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and those she and James adopted along the way during their lifetime. Jessie will certainly be missed by all who knew her. “Jesus is King…be ye also ready”. [Jessie Ridley]
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Saturday
19
March

Visitation

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Born Again Church
858 W Trinity Lane
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building.
Saturday
19
March

Celebration of Life Service

11:30 am
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Born Again Church
858 W Trinity Lane
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building.

Entombment

Woodlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum
660 Thompson Lane
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
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