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Longtime Kiwanian Ridley, 96, will be buried Wednesday
Carl Ridley

Funeral services are scheduled today for the 96-year-old Cleveland man who died Saturday from injuries suffered in a two-vehicle accident Thursday in Gainesville.

Carl Ridley, formerly of Clermont, died at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where he was airlifted after the accident on Thompson Bridge Road at Enota Avenue.

Services are set for 2 p.m. at Concord Baptist Church in Clermont, where he was a longtime member. Burial will be in Yahoola Baptist Church Cemetery. Strickland Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Ridley was a member of the Kiwanis Club since 1954, said Roger Nott, a fellow Kiwanian. Nott said Ridley was the oldest member of the Gainesville club, and for many years cooked pancakes each September at the club’s annual pancake breakfast at the Civic Center.

Ridley also was a member of the Clermont Masonic Lodge. He served as president of the Georgia chapters of both the American Association of Hospital Accountants and the American Office Management Association and served three terms on the Clermont City Council.

Ridley was born in 1912 in Lumpkin County’s Yahoola Valley, the descendant of Cherokee Indians. He graduated from Dahlonega High School in 1931 and earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Georgia and then-North Georgia College. He worked as a teacher, his last class in 1938 at Shoal Creek School in White County.

After the 1936 tornado struck Gainesville, Ridley was a construction worker living in Dawson County who helped rebuild New Holland Mill, Nott said.

He later began a 23-year career as a hospital administrator in Augusta, Atlanta and Griffin before moving to Clermont in 1977. He moved to Gainesville in 2006 and to Cleveland just this spring.

In 1937, he married his first wife, Ruby, who died in 1984. He married his second wife, Joannie, in 1998; she died in 2005.

Ridley is survived by three children: daughters Elizabeth White of Pleasanton, Calif., and Deberah Slade of Suwanee; son Carl Ridley Jr. of Arizona; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Memorial gifts in his honor may be offered to the Gainesville Kiwanis Cares Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 662, Gainesville, GA 30503.

Also hospitalized in the accident was Betty Nix, 80, of Cornelia. She remains at Grady but is expected to recover, according to family members.

The other driver, 27-year-old Tamara Davis of Gainesville, was not seriously injured in the accident.

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