James Sterling Ridings
James Sterling Ridings went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, after a brave battle with cancer.
Jim was born in McAllen, TX, on July 8, 1953, to Wanda and Robert G Ridings. After graduating at age 16 from Tryon School for Boys in upstate New York, Jim proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corp as Lieutenant Corporal 1st Battalion 9th Marines. Jim earned Series Honors in both Boot Camp and the Military Police and was one of seven marines on the HMX-1 helicopter as Presidential Guard serving President Richard Nixon in 1972. The helicopter duty was a specialized activity that Jim took pride in, and he was able to serve his year with no mishaps. In 1974 he returned to civilian life with an honorable discharge.
Jim's participation in wrestling competitions led to a lifelong passion for martial arts. Jim studied Kung Fu in China to become a certified Wah Lum Kung Fu instructor, and later founded several Kung Fu schools in Texas. He was featured in the Inside Kung Fu Magazine and made the front page of the New Hero Magazine in Hong Kong. He also authored several articles in the All-American Sports Edition.
Jim built ships at the Seattle Sound as a Master Weldman. His interest in vehicles led to a successful career in the automobile industry that spanned several decades, He won national awards of excellence at Chevrolet, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Oldsmobile, Hyundai, Toyota, Audi, and Acura; and received recognition in Financial Sales Management from Gulf States Financial Services. He became an auto dealer for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge.
Jim had a genuine kindness and a desire to succeed at everything he did. He was a good friend and mentor to many. It seemed that everything he touched turned to gold. He was a thoughtful son, a loving husband, and a devoted father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend.
Jim is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Beth Ridings; his mother, Wanda Kanton; sons Robert Ridings, Sterling Ridings, Max Ridings, Rex Ridings, and Cory Ridings; and daughters Kelly Flewelling, and Shelly Becerril. Also surviving are Jim's sisters, Deborah Linscomb, Melaney Sandbrook, and Andrea Ridings; and brothers Vern Ridings, Michael Ridings, Jonathan Snell, Steven Snell, and David Snell . Jim will be missed by his grandchildren Caden, Kalie, Jack, Henry, Kiana, Jessica, Ralph (PJ), Karyssa, Mikayla, and Cameron; and great grandchildren Rylee, Carter, Jonas, Robert, and Samantha. and Damien.
Jim's life will be celebrated in a memorial service on Thursday, April 27, at 11AM at Praise Chapel, 18516 Hwy 3, Webster, TX 77598. Jim's final resting place will be at the Tahoma National Veterans Cemetery in Kent, WA, after a memorial service with military honors at 1PM on June 16, 2017.