Cover photo for Wanda Lynette Ridge's Obituary
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1936 Wanda 2024

Wanda Lynette Ridge

October 24, 1936 — May 20, 2024

Wanda Lynette Freeman Ridge went to be with her Lord on May 20, 2024 with her family at her side. She was born October 24, 1936 in Hunter, Arkansas, to Otis and Minnie Melvin Freeman. She married Charles E. Ridge Sr., the love of her life, on the 10th of November 1956.  He always said, “She is the smartest lady I know!”


Wanda loved her family, her community, and her church. Before marriage, Wanda taught school in Moro, Arkansas, and fell in love with a little group of fourth graders who returned that love for their  “Teach,” and kept up a correspondence throughout her life. She worked in education many years in various schools. Both she and her husband were early supporters of DeSoto School in West Helena, Arkansas, where she also worked for a number of years.  Wanda was a 15-year active member of the Phillips County and PLM Regional Libraries, a 30-year DAR member, and was very active in the early preservation efforts in Helena.  She enjoyed researching the history of Phillips County as well as the genealogy of her own family.  She was a tireless worker in the West Helena Baptist Church for over 60 years. She and her husband “Gene” were in the retail grocery business for many years in Helena    


She is survived by her two sons Charles E. Ridge Jr. and wife Susan, Willis F. (Bill) Ridge and wife Robin; grandchildren Joshua, Emily, and James; great-grandchildren Baylor, Charli Louise, Decker, and William Knox; her brother Ross Freeman (Beverly) and sister Linda Benson; and a host of nieces and nephews. 


Preceding her in death were her husband of 65 years Charles E. Ridge Sr. and grandson Willis Nathan Ridge, her parents, her brother Larry Wayne Freeman, and her sister Martha Francis Hagler.


Wanda was the epitome of a true southern lady. She will be remembered for the grace, warmth, love, hospitality, and joy she brought to all who knew her.  She was loved and treasured by her family and friends and will be deeply missed.    


To honor Wanda’s wishes, there will be no formal services.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to West Helena Baptist Church, 702 Plaza Street, West Helena, AR 72390.  Relatives and friends may sign the online guestbook at


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wanda Lynette Ridge, please visit our flower store.


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