James Ridley


Jim Ridley, 74, passed away May 20, 2021 in Bismarck, ND after a long battle with Primary Progressive Aphasia.  Mass of Christian Burial will be on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the Church of Corpus Christi, Bismarck, ND with Rev. Al Bitz as celebrant.  Interment will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.  Visitation is Tuesday, May 25, 2021 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Bismarck Funeral Home with the Rosary/Vigil service at 7:00 p.m.

James Anton Ridley was born to Art and Marie Ridley, May 10, 1947.  He was the second of five children.  Jim was raised in Crary, ND. He graduated high school from Assumption Abbey School, Richardton, ND in 1965.  He attended college at Assumption Abbey and then graduated from Lake Region Junior College in 1967.  He enlisted in the US Army in 1967 and was stationed in Germany.  He was honorably discharged in December 1970.  Shortly after returning home from the Army, he met the love of his life, Rosemary Burdick.  They were married on June 10, 1972.   They were blessed with two children, Michael Allen and Cheri Marie.  They lived in Devils Lake, ND; Pipestone, MN; Grafton, ND and finally settled down in Bismarck, ND.

After returning home from the Army, Jim began his banking career with Ramsey National Bank in Devils Lake, ND and then on to First Bank in Pipestone, MN.  He then returned to North Dakota and worked shortly for Bremer Bank, Grafton, ND before switching over to Metropolitan Federal Bank, Grafton, ND where he was branch manager.   While being a banker in Grafton, he also worked as a morning radio host on KXPO radio. After a few years he and his family moved to Bismarck, where he was Branch Manager of the downtown office of Metropolitan Federal Bank.  He then did a short stint as an insurance agent before returning to his roots of banking by joining First Southwest Bank (Starion Bank).  Afterwards he worked for USDA Rural Development in the Williston and Minot offices until he retired in 2010.

If you have ever met Jim, you would know that he was a kind and funny person.  He enjoyed meeting new people and usually broke the ice with a funny joke or story.  His laugh and smile were contagious.  He was active in several civic groups throughout his life including Jaycees, Optimist Club, and Bismarck Chamber of Commerce.  In Jaycees, Jim and Rosemary were awarded family of the year in their local chapter in 1982-83.  Jim also was bestowed the honor of Jaycee Ambassador in 1982. And in retirement he enjoyed being part of the University of Mary’s Varsity Cub and attending University of Mary athletic events.  He also valued his time with his coffee group friends. Jim was an active member of Church of Corpus Christi, where he was a reader and Eucharistic minister until his health did not allow it.  Jim took pleasure in watching sports.  His teams were the Vikings and Twins.  But his favorite athletes were his kids and grandkids.

Jim loved spending time with his wife, kids, and grandchildren.  He loved reading, telling jokes, watching TV, and listening to music, especially Elvis Presley.   He loved to travel and visit museums.

Left to honor his memory is his wife of 48 years, Rosemary Ridley, Bismarck, ND, son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Christy Ridley, Fargo, ND, daughter and son-in-law, Cheri and Jordan Schantz, Hazen, ND and his five grandchildren, Alexandra (Jordan) Ryan, Amanda Ridley, Devin Ridley, all of Fargo, ND; Ethan Schantz and Lizabeth Schantz, Hazen, ND.  His siblings, John (Margaret) Ridley, Judy Mattheis, and Jean (Robert) Blair.  His in-laws Jim (Nancy) Burdick, Joe (Kim) Burdick, Sally (Rob) Dahl.  His Uncle, Ray Burkhard as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Art and Marie Ridley, his in-laws, Richard and Shigeko Burdick, his brother, Gerald Ridley, and his brother-in-law, Donald Mattheis.

Memorials may be given to the James A. and Rosemary Ridley Endowed Scholarship at University of Mary.

A day without laughter is a day wasted. – Charlie Chaplin

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