Vada (Appelgreen) Pridgeon, 87, of St. Joseph passed away peacefully at her home on March 9, 2014. As we mourn our loss, we rejoice that she led such a full life and touched so many lives. Vada was born on June 1, 1926 in Remus, Michigan to Willis A. and Mamie (Martin) Appelgreen and grew up with her two sisters and four brothers on a farm in Remus with a later move to the town of Weidman. She married her friend and classmate, Arden Pridgeon in 1947 and relocated from East Lansing to St. Joseph in 1949.
Vada was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was an avid flower gardener, league bowler and volunteer. She loved the Lord and attended weekday and Sunday services at St. Joseph Catholic Church. She had a giving spirit and knew when someone needed a lift, a card, some encouragement or homemade baked goods. She was well known for her baking – especially her lovingly decorated cut-out cookies, monkey bread, rhubarb pie and blueberry buckle.
Vada enjoyed exercising and volunteering at the St Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center. She also volunteered in the Associate Health and Wellness area at Lakeland Medical Center where she logged 6500 hours to date. In 2006, Arden and Vada won gold in the Michigan Senior Olympics Bowling Singles.
Whether it was serving as the co-director of the church funeral committee or the secretary of the bowling league, enjoying an afternoon at the casino or rounding up former co-workers “the Shady Ladies” for an annual get together, it was always full speed ahead. Vada’s bowling series at Kelly’s Lanes last week was 128, 157 & 161.
Vada wrote daily e-mail updates to her family telling them about bowling scores, friends, the price of gas, and local happenings. The jewels in her life were her grandchildren and her friends. Vada and Arden had six children over a 20 year age span – commenting once that they had earned lifetime achievement award with the PTA for their 20+ years of fundraisers and meetings. The Pridgeon Family was twice honored as the Knights of Columbus Family of the Year.
She is survived by her husband of 66+ years, Arden Pridgeon, children – Ruth (John) Stanton, Durham, NC; Ron (Sue) Pridgeon, Bloomington, IL; Linda Barker, Bridgman, MI; Jane (Scott) Lindsey, Temperance, MI; Bill (Mary Jane ) Pridgeon, Lambertville, MI and Joe (Noralyn) Pridgeon, Portage, MI. Her sister – Rita (Robert) Modderman, Grand Rapids, MI and brother – Walt (Ann) Appelgreen, Chippewa Lake, MI and her grandchildren – Jill and Sarah Stanton; Sam and Rachael Pridgeon; Blake Barker and Kelli (Michael) Ehrhard; Doug and Ben Walls; Stephanie, Ryan, Chad, Jeremy and Brady Pridgeon; Andrew and Mitchell Pridgeon and one great-grandson, Knox Ehrhard.
Vada was preceded in death by her parents Willis and Mamie (Martin) Appelgreen, her sister, Kathryn Wood and her brothers, Martin, Gerald, and Donald Appelgreen.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Church St. St. Joseph, with Father Thomas McNally officiating. Burial to follow at Riverview Cemetery in St. Joseph. Friends may visit from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd. St. Joseph with a Rosary recited at 7:30 P.M. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph – Lincoln Senior Center or to St. Joseph Catholic Church. Those wishing to sign Vada’s guestbook may do so online at www.starks-menchinger.com. We encourage you to volunteer in your community in memory of Vada.