Age 98, January 27, 1914 – January 1, 2012, a Farmington Hills resident for over 73 years and member of Clarenceville United Methodist Church in Livonia.
Ettie Elizabeth (Fawcett) Ridings was born in Grover Hill, Ohio, to Harrison and Zelia (Crone) Fawcett. She was raised on a farm with two sisters, Lorraine (Andy) Hewitt of Milford, MI, and Alice (Dutch) Morris of VanWert, Ohio, and a brother, the late George Fawcett.
Following high school, Ettie moved to Michigan and held various jobs. In 1939, she married Virchow Ridings and moved to Farmington Hills, where they owned and operated Ridings Lawnmower Service from 1946 to 1996. During this time, Ettie, with some guidance from Virchow, became a self-taught salesperson, bookkeeper and mechanic, and could tune-up a lawnmower as well as Virchow, and taught the employees the importance of business honesty, integrity and quality work. After 50 years of long hours and hard work, they retired. Can you imagine working with your spouse 12 hours a day for over 50 years? Some of their marital success may be attributed to their love of chocolate candy. In fact, if you checked out one of the bottom filing cabinets in the shop, you would find a store-house of all kinds of chocolate candy. Perhaps this was a contributor of Ettie's energy in advancing age. Sadly, Virchow preceded Ettie in death on December 2, 1997.
Ettie loved the domestic aspects of a housewife. She was an incredible cook and baker. Her pies melted in your mouth. Perhaps this was a result of her early hard work on the farm where she loved gardening both fruits and vegetables. One year, she canned over 500 jars of fruits, vegetables and jam. Ettie even grew a six-foot tall tomato plant. Her green thumb was also evidenced by very large houseplants. You might have heard of a plant wall...well, Ettie grew a plant ceiling...very unique to say the least! Additionally, she was creative in decorating and recycling before it was in vogue. She was a strong, yet compassionate woman, and an optimist whose motto was "you can do it".
Ettie loved God and life. She was happy when she and Virchow spent part of the winter in Florida at their mobile home, and always welcomed people to their cabin in northern Michigan where she made it fun for all ages. She especially enjoyed the fall and deer hunting season. Ettie has made life memorable for her family and others and will be missed, but will be in our hearts forever.
She leaves two children, son, Ben Ridings, DDS, and daughter, Ann (Joseph) Sutschek; and many nieces and nephews.
The Ridings family will receive guests on Friday, January 4, from 2-8 pm.
Ettie's Funeral Ceremony is planned for Saturday, January 5th, at 10:00 am. The Reverend Brian William of West Bloomfield United Methodist Church will officiate the service.
Burial at Pine Lake Cemetery, West Bloomfield, will follow the ceremony.
Memorial gifts are suggested to Clarenceville United Methodist Church or West Bloomfield United Methodist Church.
Thank you for keeping Ettie's family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Born: January 27, 1914
Place of Birth: Grover Hill, Ohio
Death: January 1, 2013
Place of Death: Marywood Nursing Home, Livonia
Memorial donations may be made to:
Clarenceville United Methodist Church
West Bloomfield United Methodist Church
This memorial provided by:
Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home