Donna Jean (Talent) Ridener

Donna Jean (Talent) Ridener

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.

More in Community

The masthead for the Homer Weekly News.
Years Ago

Homer happenings from years past

Homer High School. (Homer News file photo)
School announcements

School district risk level update and upcoming events

Homer writer Richard Chiappone. (Photo by Joshua Veldstra)
‘Hunger of Crows’ perfect for winter reading

Chiappone’s first novel is set in Homer, Anchor Point.

A scene of the Grinch who stole Christmas lights up the yard of a home along Bear Creek Drive on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 in Kachemak City, Alaska. In place of the annual garden of lights, Bear Creek Winery hosted a driving tour of holiday lights with Bear Creek Drive neighbors this year. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
‘Let it Glow’ holiday lights campaign and competition announced

Event encourages people to create festive holiday-light displays

The moon rises over the Kenai Mountains and Beluga Lake at about 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Homer’s Best Bets

We’re going into another cold week, Betster persons, all the more reason… Continue reading

File photo by Michael Armstrong / Homer News
Ben Mitchell, left, serves spaghetti to helper Pat Wells in the kitchen at a past Share the Spirit spaghetti feed.
Looking to share some holiday spirit? Here’s how

As the holiday season approaches, one organization is continuing its 29-year mission… Continue reading

Town Crier

Bear Creek Winery Garden of Lights will return this December with Christmas… Continue reading

Khaleesi (Photo courtest of Alaska Mindful Paws)
Pet of the week: Khaleesi

Khaleesi is a sweet girl looking to find her furever home. She… Continue reading

Before boiling, this handmade pasta is rolled, cut and tossed in flour to keep from sticking. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Pasta by hand

The first kitchen job I interviewed for was a saute position in… Continue reading

Most Read