JoRetta Ridenhour Orr, 82, affectionately called “Jo Momma,” passed away Tuesday, June 25, 2013, surrounded by her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, the Rev. Robert L. Orr; foster son, Donnie Price; her parents, Lena Mae and John Adam Ridenhour; brothers: Junior, Ralph and Alfred Ridenhour; and a sister, Helen McLemore.
She was a former employee of the Church of God International Offices and Church of God Publishing House. She also worked for a short time in the Bradley Central High School cafeteria.
She was fondly called “Jo Momma” by the many children she babysat through the years.
Alongside her husband in his ministry, she was not only a pastor’s wife but also a Sunday school teacher. She was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ since the age of 16.
She was a member of North Cleveland Church of God in Cleveland for more than 35 years.
She was an inductee into the Lee University Athletic Hall of Fame for her many years of faithful attendance to the school’s athletics. She was an avid Atlanta Braves and University of Tennessee Vols fan. Having been a fast-pitch softball pitcher, she was also fond of local softball and enjoyed watching her daughters on the field throughout their lives.
She loved sharing stories of her years as a cheerleader and softball pitcher. Since its inception, she was a regular fixture at the Lee University Volley for a Cure Event. She was a familiar face at Lee volleyball games, where her daughter and son-in-law, Andrea and Kevin Hudson, are coaches.
Some may remember her as Mrs. Santa in the annual MainStreet Cleveland Christmas Parade. Many will recall her spirited enthusiasm, seated in her wheelchair, on the sidelines of many Bradley Central and Walker Valley High School games watching her children and grandchildren.
She earned her nickname, “Jo Momma,” from spectators, players and umpires during her regular attendance of events at Tinsley Park. Her last trip to the ballpark was in May to watch her great-grandson play baseball at Bradley County Recreational Park.
Survivors include her children: Linda Roark and husband, Donald, Andrea Hudson and husband, Kevin, Zandra Welch and husband Jim, Yvonne May and husband, Mark, and Kathy Eaton; grandchildren: Josh White (Stephanie), Cassie Presley (Clint), Cpl. Trevor Jones, Carmen Falke (Eric), Bree Whaley, Michael Westfield Jr. (Samantha), Darien Johnson, Ciara Woody, Alan Roark, Megan Feldweiser, Benton Roark, TeriLynn Smith, Caleb and Zoe Welch, Haleigh and Michael May; great-grandchildren: Taylor, Hunter and Holden White, MiKayla and Kali Mingie and Heath and Landon Falke; and sister, Pat Smith of Mooresville, N.C.
The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 30, 2013, at the Lee University Chapel with the Revs. Gary Sears and James Sears, and Pastor Teresa Norman of Mount Olive Ministries.
Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Serving as pallbearers will be her grandchildren: Michael Westfield Jr., Darien Johnson, Cpl. Trevor Jones, Josh White and sons-in-law: Donald Roark, Kevin Hudson, Jim Welch and Mark May. Honorary pallbearers will be Larry Carpenter, George Starr, Rico Blair, Dr. John Jaggers, Dr. Daniel Vance, Lisa Cross, Deb Hart, Brittany Jackson and the Rev. John Ray.
A white dove release ceremony will conclude the service.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Ralph Buckner Funeral Home.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Orr family guest book at www.ralphbuckner.com.