Donna Jean (Talent) Ridener
April 3, 1928 – May 31, 2019
Longtime Alaskan teacher Donna Jean (Talent) Ridener, 91, passed away Friday, May 31, 2019 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer surrounded by her family.
At Donna’s request, a luau will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at Bishop’s Beach in Homer.
Donna was born April 3, 1928 in Dillon, Montana. She received her bachelor of fine arts and also her teaching certificate. She moved to Alaska in 1956 and resided in Anchorage. She taught school at Sunflower Elementary, Orion Tudor Elementary, Fireweed Elementary and Northstar Elementary. She retired in 1996 from the Anchorage School District.
Donna was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Fourth Ward.
She helped start the teacher’s aide program in the Anchorage School District.
Donna’s passions were being an artist, sculpture, garage saling, dancing, rockhounding, antiques, Santa Claus and being with her family.
Her daughter wrote, “Mom intended to bring beauty to the world and that she did. Her art, music, dance, laughter, beauty and love spread beauty and joy everywhere she went. Her family and friends all grieve her passing and will remember forever the love of ‘Gonnie,’ Mom, Donna Jean … she is one of a kind.”
She was preceded in death by a great-grandson, Anthony Guerra McAllistar.
Donna is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Dede and Roy Srb of Cordova, Robin McAllistar of Homer, Julie and Chuck Quales of Homer, and Tora Gerrick of Phoenix, Arizona; son and daughter-in-law, Martin “Tiger” Ridener and Valarie Melendez of Anchorage; granddaughters, April Calcum of California, Jackie Tomerdle and husband Arvo, of Kenai, Katie McAllistar of Homer, Brittany and Talia Champion, both of Anchorage, and Candice Quales of Wasilla; grandsons, Will Srb and wife Kristin of Cordova, and Charles Quales and Aaron McAllistar Taliesin, both of Homer; great-granddaughters, Tayrn Calkum of California, Caprice McAllistar and Grace Berumen McAllistar, both of Homer, Bella and Katella Tomerdle, both of Kenai, Daphne Funk of Wasilla, and Suriyah Lovina Brock of Homer; and great-grandsons, River Tomerdle of Kenai, Adonija Brock of Homer, Rylan Srb of Cordova, and Gage and Gunnar Funk of Wasilla.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.