Melinda Ann Ridgway was born in Iowa on April 30, 1954 to John and Barbara Ridgway. She passed away on April 26, 2022. Melinda is preceded in death by her parents and sister, Lynette Ridgway of Ottumwa, Iowa. She is survived by her two brothers, two nieces, one nephew, and many adoring great-nieces and nephews.
Melinda attended Albia High School in Albia, IA, graduating in 1972. In 1975 she graduated in the top of her class with a Sociology degree from Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After graduation, she became a commissioned officer in the Air Force, stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona working as an air traffic controller from 1975-1977. In 1979 she moved to Topeka, Kansas, and obtained a certificate in horticulture from Kaw Valley Vo-tech. Melinda work in horticulture at Lake Shawnee for close to ten years where she began what would become her lifelong passion, improving the life of cats.
Melinda had a deep love for all animals and felt especially connected with cats. She devoted many recourses to “adopting” feral cats. She would take them to the vet for physicals, have them spayed/neutered, get them their vaccines, and work to get them adopted when feasible.
Melinda was an active participant at the Topeka VAMC, attending groups, as well as receiving care there. She was a devoted Catholic and participated where and whenever she could to assist with the Church and her parish. She even carried a pager that would alert her when someone needed prayer, and would then begin actively praying for them, as well as assisting with Perpetual Adoration.
To say the least, Melinda had immense compassion for all living things. She never forgot to honor someone’s birthday or special occasion with a card, which always arrived days ahead. She had a very sly sense of humor and her memories of others always highlighted the best in that person. Melinda was a unique soul and will be greatly missed.
A Memorial Mass will be held at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 3601 SW 17th St, Topeka, Kansas, on Tuesday, July 26th 2022, with a visitation at 10:00 am, Rosary to be recited at 10:15 am and Mass at 10:30 am.
Inurnment will follow at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 801 SW Westchester Rd., Topeka, Kansas 66606. In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial contribution in Melinda’s honor to Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church or Helping Hands Humane Society, 5720 SW 21st St, Topeka, Kansas 66604.
Dove Cremations and Funerals – Southwest Chapel, 3700 SW Wanamaker Rd., Topeka, Kansas 66610 is assisting the family.
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