Jean Ridings

Betty Jean  (Olsen) Ridings passed away on July 11, 2022.  She was born October 18, 1926 to Walter and Delila Olsen at the family farm in Yoder, Oregon; the 2nd of 3 children.  At that time, the farm did not have indoor plumbing or electricity. The electricity was put in about 6 months after her birth. The indoor plumbing was put in  1940, that was also when they got their 1st electric refrigerator. Her younger brother could not pronounce "Betty Jean" so she spent her life as Jean. She went to grade school in the one room schoolhouse in Yoder; then to Molalla High School and graduated in 1944. She helped around the farm- sewing, cooking, helping  with canning; and worked in the fields every summer picking hops (where she met her future husband), picking strawberries, beans, cherries,  collecting and cleaning hay to place under their bedrolls & working with all of the animals. Jean's clothes were mostly hand made, some out of 100# flour sacks that were printed with floral patterns just for that purpose.

 

After high school, she went to Portland to learn how to be a teletype perforator machine operator & switchboard operator at Western Union.


On April 26, 1946, she married Duane A. Ridings who came to Portland on leave from the army to surprise her. They eloped before telling her parents. At Ft Sill Oklahoma in 1948, Douglas was born. They were transferred to Ft Bliss in El Paso Texas where Kathy was born. After the army, Duane got a job with the Oregon state highway department in Roseburg. In 1952 they were transferred to Salem where they bought a new house that was only the third house on a gravel road just outside the city limits.


Jean was a homemaker and took care of the neighbors kids as well as her own for several years. Then she decided she needed a "new outlet". She took painting lessons,  played the piano then got an organ which she enjoyed playing. She joined the YMCA, got a water safety instruction certificate, taught swimming and life saving classes and participated in synchronized swimming. She talked husband into taking ballroom dance lessons & join a dance club where they met many life long friends.  Jean joined and held offices in church circle and the OSU extension club. And was president of Battle Creek Ladies Golf association.


Jean & Duane liked to travel. With the kids, they traveled around Oregon and the western states in a hand made "tear drop" camp trailer. They enjoyed fishing. Then in a motorhome drove across the US & Canada. Finally to the rest of the world on  land tours and cruise ship tours.

Duane, all his siblings and Jean's sister Doris, brother Gordon have all passed on.
She will be missed by many family and friends.


Donations may be made to the American Cancer society in her honor.