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J. Lewis Ridgeway

November 29, 1927 ~ August 25, 2018 (age 90)

J. Lewis Ridgeway, 90, of Tarboro, NC passed away August 25,  2018.

He was the youngest born to Otis and Thelma Ridgeway on November 29, 1927, in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1949 with a BA degree in Hospital Administration. He married Janie Lee Sullivan in 1949. They lived in Seneca, SC, Bennettsville, SC, Atlanta, GA and moved to Tarboro, NC in 1956. Together in Tarboro they raised two children. 

He leaves in legacy two children: Karen R. Summerlin and her husband “Rabbit”;  Lewis W. Ridgeway and his wife Brenda; Grandchildren: Erin, Morgan, Jane, Alexis and Nicholas; Great Grandchildren: Mikayla,  Kaitlyn, Kayley, Wyatt, Blythe and Seanna.

He was preceded in death by his ex-wife,  Janie S. Ridgeway; parents,  Otis and Thema Ridgeway; and brothers,  Otis Ridgeway Jr., and Tom Ridgeway.

J. Lewis was the hospital administrator/CEO in Tarboro, NC for 37 years where he oversaw the building of two hospitals. He was passionate about the quality of medical care to the hospital patients. He was instrumental in securing additional physicians, surgeons and nurses to elevate and expand the medical care in the community. He was active in the Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church, Rotary Club, Jaycees, Hilma Country Club and other local institutions. But his real passion was Golf!! He loved the game and he was pretty good at it. He and some of the local club members traveled throughout the State to compete and enjoy the camaraderie of other golfers. If golf was on the television – he was watching, if magazines were in the house – they were golf magazines. There were golf clubs and paraphernalia throughout the garage, in his car, everywhere. He taught several people to play and would play with anyone who was interested, no matter what level golfer they may be. In his later years, he still wanted to play, but sadly, his physical condition prevented that – however, he continued to watch the game whenever he could.

The service to celebrate his life is scheduled for Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 2pm at Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church, with Ben Kane officiating.  Following the service, the family will receive visitors in the Burns Fellowship Hall.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:  Vidant Edgecombe Hospital Development Council, 111 Hospital Drive, Tarboro, NC 27886 or to Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church, 303 E. St. James Street, Tarboro, NC  27886. 

Arrangements are by Carlisle Funeral Home, Inc., of Tarboro. Online condolences may be directed to the family by visiting

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