John W. Pridgeon Sr. passed away on Sept. 24, 2012, at age 97 as a result of complications following a fall in his New London home.
He is survived by his wife, Lynne, of the home.
Visitation will be at Smith Funeral Home & Chapel, Hannibal, today, Sept. 28, 2012, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2012, at Smith Funeral Home & Chapel. The Rev. Dr. Stephen Adkison will officiate. Burial will be at Grand View Burial Park following the service.
John was born at home in Burr Oak Bottom, Doniphan County, Kan., on July 19, 1915, to Robert Leroy Pridgeon and Mary Alma Yount Pridgeon.
John was the last surviving member of his family, which included sister, Ola Pridgeon Weeks, brother, Clyde Pridgeon, and sister, Mary, who died as a young child.
John graduated from Central High School in St. Joseph, Mo., in 1936. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri in 1940. After completing his degree John began working for the U.S. Navy in Newport News, Va., designing aircraft carriers. He continued in that position throughout World War II.
John met his first wife, Emma Lou Lennox Pridgeon, while attending the University of Missouri. They were married shortly after he graduated and remained happily married for 57 years.
John and Emma Lou had two sons, John W. Pridgeon Jr. of O’Fallon, Mo., and Joseph D. Pridgeon of Frankford, Mo. Their family also includes six grandchildren, Jeffrey Pridgeon, Kathleen Pridgeon West, Joshua Pridgeon, Joseph (Jay) Pridgeon Jr., Troy Pridgeon and Sean Pridgeon, as well as eight great-grandchildren.
After the war John and his family returned to Missouri where he began a 27-year career with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) designing highways.
During his career he designed over 2,000 miles of highway in Northeast Missouri. He was also instrumental in starting the MoDOT Credit Union. He recalled how, in the beginning, they used an old cigar box as the cash drawer. John was active in the Northeast Missouri Professional Engineering Society, serving terms as president and past-president.
John was a wonderful father, acting as coach and mentor to his sons and their friends. He was a founding member of the Booster Club at Hannibal High School. John passed his love of mathematics to his sons, both of whom became engineers themselves.
John was a supporting and active member of his church throughout his life. He served as a deacon during his membership with the Lindell Avenue Christian Church. Later in life he became a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder.
After losing his first wife, Emma Lou, John was blessed with a second happy marriage to Marilyn (Lynne) Lee Pridgeon, whom he married in 1998. That marriage enlarged John’s family to include Lynne’s four children and eight grandchildren.
Page 2 of 2 - During his retirement John enjoyed farming and raising cattle and renting pasture for horses on his property in Ralls County. He was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Missouri Tigers. After several years of travel, John and Lynne settled into a quiet life on the farm with their dog, Kobe.
Pallbearers will be Troy Pridgeon, Jay Pridgeon, Sean Pridgeon, Mark Lee, Daniel Lee and Michael Lee.
Honorary pallbearers will be Jeff Pridgeon, Josh Pridgeon, T.J. Stevens and Megan Lee.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, in care of Smith Funeral Home & Chapel, 2619 St. Mary’s Ave. Hannibal MO 63401, or the Hannibal High School Booster Club, in care of the Athletic Department, Hannibal High School, 4500 McMasters’ Ave., Hannibal, MO 63401.
Online condolences to the family may be offered at www.smithfuneralhomeandchapel.com.