William F. Ridenour, 78, Conrail yardmaster, golfer

October 07, 2004

William F. Ridenour, a retired Conrail yardmaster and golfer, died of pneumonia Sunday at Good Samaritan Hospital. The Gardenville resident was 78.

Mr. Ridenour was born and raised in East Baltimore. He left City College to enlist in the Navy in 1943 and served during World War II as a landing craft radioman.

After returning to Baltimore, he earned his General Educational Development diploma and attended the University of Baltimore.

He began working in 1950 for the Pennsylvania Railroad as a yard clerk. He was promoted to yardmaster in 1952, responsible for making up and dispatching freight trains.

Mr. Ridenour spent most of his nearly four-decade career at the railroad's Bayview Yard but also was assigned to its Canton and Mount Vernon yards. He was later promoted to trainmaster but at his request returned to his former position. He retired in 1988 from Conrail, a successor company to the Penn Central and Pennsylvania railroads.

"Of his railroad career, he used to say, `I have the biggest Christmas garden in the world,'" said a son, William L. Ridenour of Essex.

Mr. Ridenour enjoyed playing golf at Lake Clifton, and playing poker and pinochle.

Services will be at noon today at the Leonard C. Ruck Funeral Home, 5305 Harford Road.

Mr. Ridenour also is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Bernadette Intlekofer; another son, Thomas Ridenour of Rising Sun; two daughters, Carol von der Linden of Laurel and Susan D. Dooley of Columbia; two sisters, Edith Mitchell of Rosedale and Lillian Streckfus of Parkville; five grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

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