The Obit For Tom Ridenhour

Thomas Ridenhour

Published in Charlotte Observer on December 20, 2012

Thomas L. Ridenhour CHARLOTTE - Mr. Ridenhour, 83, passed away to his eternal reward December 19, 2012. He was born January 22, 1929 to Ralph Lynn Ridenhour and Nina Spears Ridenhour of Route 3, Concord, NC.

Tom graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School, Pfeiffer Jr. College, Catawba College, and the United States Air Force Officer Candidate School in San Antonio, Texas. He served as a First Lt. in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

Upon honorable discharge in 1954, he and his wife, Maxine, returned to Charlotte. Military service interrupted his professional baseball career, and after returning to Charlotte, he began his business career with American Discount Corporation, a major southeastern automobile finance company.

In 1958 he joined First Union National Bank and began a distinguished 34 year banking career. He became Executive Vice President and Consumer Credit Division Head for First Union Corporation, a position he held until retirement in 1992. Tom was a lifelong avid sports enthusiast.

After returning to Charlotte from military service, he coached many local youth sports teams in baseball, basketball and football. He has supported all Charlotte professional sports teams. Tom enjoyed working in fund raising for many local civic organizations.

One of his fondest memories was as one of the founders of Providence Day School. He served on the Board of Trustees, and was President of the Board for many years. Tom also enjoyed sharing his knowledge and experience of consumer credit with bankers on a national level.

He was National President of the Consumer Bankers Association in 1980. For 20 years he was responsible for teaching and developing the curriculum, and securing faculty to teach consumer banking in the summer sessions of the School of Banking of the South at LSU. He was also President of the Board of Directors at the Graduate School of Retail Bank Management at the University of Virginia.

Tom also served on national committees for the American Bankers Association and the Consumer Bankers Association, assisting congressional committees in legislative matters. Tom has had a very wonderful and active life, and he enjoyed working with friends to accomplish a mission.

His fondest memories have come as a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church for 55 years. He has held many lay positions, co-chaired several capital campaigns, and has sung in the adult choir.

Mr. Ridenhour was preceded in death by his parents. Surviving is his caring, loving wife, for 59 years, Maxine; wonderful, loving and caring children: daughter, Sherry Hood and husband Timothy of Charlotte; son, David and wife Trina of Charlotte; son, Scott of Charlotte; beautiful and loving grandchildren, Megan, Meredith, and Tanner Ridenhour, Christopher and wife Audrey Hood, and Andrew Hood. Other surviving relatives are brother, Ted Ridenhour and wife Sherry of Orem, UT; sisters, Jane Barrier and husband Marvin of Concord, NC, Dorothy Moose and husband Whittaker of Mt. Pleasant, NC, and Barbara Fisher and husband Donald of Mt. Pleasant, NC; and numerous, nieces and nephews.

Tom's wife, children and grandchildren want to acknowledge what a model husband, father, grandfather and friend he was to all who knew him.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, December 22, 2012 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Charlotte, with Rev. Dr. Peter Brown officiating, assisted by Rev. Emily Hartner. Interment will follow at Sharon Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Friday evening at Harry & Bryant Co., 500 Providence Road, Charlotte.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, honorariums be made to St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1001 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207; Providence Day School, 5800 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC 28270; or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, PO Box 9031, Pittsfield, MA 01202-9031.