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SGM (RET) William Thomas Ridens, Sr., affectionately known as Will, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 3, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky, at the age of 61. Born on Friday, June 15, 1962, in Evansville, Indiana, Will lived a life marked by service, generosity, and a warm, friendly spirit.
Will was the epitome of a dedicated and selfless individual, traits that were most evident in his distinguished military career. He retired from the United States Army as a Sargent Major, having served his country with honor in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Haiti. His commitment to duty, honor, and country was unmatched, and his impact on those he served with was profound and enduring.
In addition to his decorated military service, Will was a man of many interests and hobbies. A staunch supporter of University of Indiana Football, his passion for the sport was infectious. He also enjoyed the simple pleasures of life, such as bowling, fishing, and grilling out. Those who knew him best will remember his generous spirit, his hearty laughter, and his knack for making everyone feel welcome and appreciated.
Will was preceded in death by his parents, Weston and Betty Ridens, his sister, Nancy Tillman, and his grandson, William Thomas Ridens, III. His memory will be cherished and kept alive by his loving wife of 36 years, Etta Ridens, his children, Andrea Johnston, Fantasia Ridens, William Thomas Ridens, Jr., and his seven grandchildren, Havanna, Averi, Phoenix, Kinley, Travis, Evelyn, and Jesarae. His surviving siblings, brother Robert Ridens, and sister Mary Ridens, along with a host of extended family and friends, will remember him as a pillar of strength, kindness, and love.
Visitation will be from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM, Thursday, August 10, 2023 at Chism Family Funeral Home, Vine Grove, KY.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM, Thursday, August 10, 2023 at the chapel of Chism Family Funeral Home, Vine Grove, KY. A graveside service with military honors will follow at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central, Radcliff, KY.