Albert Dwayne Ridgway, Jr.
November 16, 2023
Albert Dwayne Ridgway, Jr. 74, of Aladdin, Wyoming, passed away November 11, 2023, in Rapid City, South Dakota, following a brief illness.
Al was born in Wagner, South Dakota, to Albert Sr., and Pearl (Bradley) Ridgway and was the youngest of seven children. On that hot August day, the only member of the family to be born in a hospital. His siblings fondly remember walking into the hospital to meet their baby brother.
As a young child, Jr. lived on a farm near Marty, South Dakota. He attended Ree Country School until the eighth grade. His oldest sister, Shirley Ridgway was his favorite teacher for both seventh and eighth grade. He used to drive his sisters to school in Shirley's new car. He completed his education at Mary High School in 1969.
Al married the love of his life Barbara Anderson on December 20, 1969. The newlyweds resided in Wagner, South Dakota. In 1972, their first child, Dwayne was born. While Al Barb lived in Martin, South Dakota, their family grew in 1975 with a second son, Chad, and in 1976 with their daughter, Stacy.
Al's career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began in 1972. In the summers, he worked at Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge.
His career took him to various other National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries, including Squaw Creek NWR in Mound City, Missouri; Malheur NWR in Burns, Oregon; Lacreek NWR in Martin, South Dakota; McNenny National Fish Hatchery, Ranch A Fisheries Research and Education Center; Spearfish National Fish Hatchery; and was highlighted on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
The list of job-related skills too numerous to count, among them being habitat management on Waterfowl Production Areas; fish propagation and stocking in the Black Hills of South Dakota; trumpeter swan release and recovery; fisheries research and education; Federal Law Enforcement officer; Wildland fire fighter and dozer operator; Mechanic; Heavy Equipment operator and most important Elk and Bison feeder.
Al retired after a 36-year career with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2005. At this time Al returned to his love of farming and cattle ranching while at the Sleep Ranch near Spearfish, South Dakota, and the Crowell Ranch near Sundance, Wyoming.
Al's fondest memories are of his time pheasant hunting with his dog Grace and farming on his brother's land near Ravinia, South Dakota; elk hunting near Jackson, Wyoming; hunting turkeys, deer and elk with his children and his grandchildren; spending time at the family cabin at Iron Creek Lake while sitting by the campfire; riding horses for pleasure or while packing into elk and deer camp; and spending time with his family.
Al and Barb have three children, Dwayne (Paula) of Jackson Hole, Chad (Erin) of Etna, Wyoming and Stacy (Nathan) of Great Falls, Montana; and grandchildren, Jade, Cody, Taylor, Kaylee and Magnolia.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Albert Sr. and Pearl Ridgway; brother, Bobby; infant sister, Deanna; nephew, Allen; niece, Jody; godson, Randy; sister-in-law, Mary Ann; father-in-law, Carl R. Anderson; mother-in-law, Ellen Anderson and brother-in-law, James Anderson.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, November 16, 2023 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Spearfish. A memorial has been established to the D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Isburg Crematory of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at http://www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com