Edna Annette (Ridenour) Denby
February 23, 1924 – December 31, 2020
Annette was born February 23, 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri. She lived there for only a year prior to taking up a brief residency in Denver where the air was too thin for her mother to breathe. Following Denver, she spent a few years in Chicago and ultimately moved to her father’s hometown of St. Johns, Michigan.
Annette spoke proudly of her hometown her entire life. She and her family would visit for Memorial Days, Mint Festivals, or even just a picnic in the park. On her father’s side, Annette had deep roots in Clinton County. The Ridenour’s spent a couple generations amassing a huge amount of tillable acreage. Annette’s great grandfather Samuel S. Kentfield, a resident of Clinton County, enlisted and died in the Civil War. He is buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery in Tennessee.
Annette was in the St. Johns graduating class of 1943. She then trained to be a stenographer, graduating from the Lansing Business University aka LBU. Annette began her career working for the Wise and Vanote Law firm in the Michigan National Tower downtown Lansing. She then applied to work for the State of Michigan as a stenographer, and proudly worked as the executive secretary for B. Dale Ball, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
She met the love of her life, Wayne Denby, at Bradley’s Dance Hall in Lansing. They married at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Lansing. Annette was a lifelong member of the St. Johns Congregational Church and became a member of the Holt Presbyterian Church. Wayne and Annette moved into his home in Mason where their two children, Fred and Patti, were born. After seeing her two children off to a good start, she took a part-time job that turned into a full-time job at the Lansing Elks Lodge and worked there until retirement. They resided as a family in a new ranch-style home in Holt, where Annette continued to live and work in her garden for 50 years.
Annette spent the last 15 years in Fowlerville near both of her children. She lived independently in an apartment complex that is primarily for seniors. It had a commons area where residents played cards, put puzzles together, and would meet for a cup of coffee and maybe a donut. Annette made many new friends while she lived there and was known for her puzzle diligence and ability.
Annette’s children and grandchildren were always welcome to visit or move in, and many did. There was always good cooking, card and board game playing, and nightly drinkums (cocktails). The grandkids loved the unstructured environment. Annette loved summer and a barbeque. The family is planning a barbeque this summer in remembrance of her. Friends and family will gather, and many of her favorites will be served, such as ribs, mac and cheese, rhubarb pie and of course drinkums.
Annette is survived by her brother Dart L. Ridenour of Long Beach CA, her son Fred and Cindy Denby, her daughter Patti (Denby) and Jim Keesler. Grandchildren Angela (Denby) and Dan Belanger, Brandon and Shelby Denby, Deanne (Rivera) and Ryan Wizner, Billy Rivera, Nick and Amber Kassouf, 10 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was especially fond of her niece Barbara Davis of Portage Michigan, who was one of her bridesmaids in 1953 and remained a close friend to the end, as well as her brother’s daughters Piper, Beverly and Sharon.
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