It’s not every day that you meet someone who (when heavily medicated) professes that she cannot be late for a party with J-LO (Jennifer Lopez) and Mariah Carey. Or while sick, some of her biggest arguments with her sister were over wearing her heels even though the circulation in her legs and feet were minimal. On Monday, May 11, 2020 Clarice Virginia Hutcherson Ridley peacefully passed away at the age of 85. Now she can FINALLY wear her heels and fur as she struts like a peacock because she is finally at peace and no longer in pain.
Clarice was born on June 20, 1934 in Amherst, Virginia. She was the oldest of four girls born in the loving household of Jesse and Othella (Moore) Hutcherson. She became a member of First Baptist Church, Coolwell Road at a very young age, and despite being born in rural central Virginia, she bravely and faithfully ventured out and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia and later her Master’s degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. What an outstanding feat for a country girl born in 1934! She married Jack M. Ridley in 1962 and was lovingly married for 43 years prior to his death in 2005.
After beginning her teaching career in Lynchburg, Virginia and later in Pennsylvania, Clarice became a long-time resident of Stamford, Connecticut, where she lived for more than 30 years. There, she worked as a second grade teacher working primarily at Davenport Ridge Elementary School. And, while in her quiet time she was an avid reader of mainly romance novels, she lived her absolute best life playing tennis, regularly attending social and civic events at the Italian Center in Stamford and socializing with her close friends and long- time teaching colleagues while also regularly vacationing and traveling the world with her husband Jack. While living in Stamford, Clarice was warmly welcomed into her Stamford Baptist Church community while also embracing the climate of the suburbs right outside of New York City, including the snow and cold, as well as the finer things in life. She loved her jewelry (upon retiring from teaching, she worked at Lord and Taylor department store in the fine jewelry department just for the discount!), her fashion (Lord and Taylor again!), and her travel (she had to have somewhere to wear the jewelry and clothes she bought at Lord and Taylor).
Although she had no children of her own, Clarice truly loved her nieces and especially her nephew and she spent as much time with her family as possible. Clarice regularly hosted Christmas (we all received gifts from Lord and Taylor!) and Thanksgiving holidays, summer vacation time with her niece and nephew, week long girl’s trips with her sisters and cousin as well as larger family vacations. As the oldest sibling, she made sure to spoil her family in every way that she could.
In 2012, Clarice relocated to Virginia Beach, Virginia to be closer to family, where she resided until her death. Despite living in the warmer weather of Virginia Beach, she desperately missed her friends in Stamford and her life there (she even missed the cold of northeast-- it was too hot in Virginia Beach and it rarely snowed). Her heart will always be in Connecticut. Clarice can finally reunite with her husband, Jack, whom she has missed since he departed this life in 2005 and her sister, Barbara Hutcherson Parks and her parents. Clarice is survived by her sisters, Patricia Hutcherson Dillard, Ed.D (Virginia Beach, Virginia), Shirley Hutcherson Eggleston (Upland, California); brother-in-law Dr. Robert L. Dillard, Sr.; her niece Pamela Eggleston Knott, her niece and Godchild Nicole C. Dillard, Esquire and her nephew Robert L. Dillard, Jr, Esquire; her great nieces Jessica Knott Armstrong, Victoria Knott, Esquire and the youngest love of her life, Lena Turner. She is also survived by several great- great nieces and nephews. Clarice will be missed for all of the beauty she brought to this world and we are all the better for her life well lived.
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First Baptist Church of Coolwell Cemetery Club
193 Mt. Airy Road, Amherst VA 24521