WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Members of the community are commemorating a big Wichita Falls influencer in Christy Ridinger.
Two new Mane Event horses went up at Texas Roadhouse in her honor Thursday, September 23.
Ridinger passed away last year after battling Alzheimer’s disease. With Ridinger helping with many local organizations, including the Alzheimer’s association, family members say they want her legacy to be remembered.
Alzheimer’s disease takes more than 120,000 lives a year. In 2020, Christy Ridinger was one of them.
“It was very difficult from the beginning,” Ridinger’s daughter Mallory Sanders said. “The whole six years that she had Alzheimer’s, but one thing that never changed was she was always our mom.”
Ridinger was involved with a number of organizations, including the Junior League of Wichita Falls and Leadership Wichita Falls.
In her honor, the family chose local artist Katie Britt, who knew Ridinger for years, to paint two Mane Event horses and place them at Texas Roadhouse, a place that Ridinger loved.
“It’s a big honor, and I was taken aback by it because Christy meant a lot to me too,” Britt said. “I worked with her at the Times Record-News for many, many years, and she was a role model; she believed in me.”
“I think we picked the perfect artist because Katie knew Christy and worked with her, and she knew everything about Christy,” Arthur Ridinger Sr., Christy’s husband, said.
Loved ones said Ridinger walked in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s every year as well.
As the walk approaches this weekend, event organizers understand what families like Ridinger’s go through as they care for their loved ones.
“They’re a wonderful family, and they’re a very tight family, so they’ve always been big supporters for the Alzheimer’s association and participating,” Alzheimer’s Association Regional Director Patty Taylor said. “I don’t wish this on anybody having to do this.”
As the horses stand tall, loved ones hope Ridinger’s memory lives on in Wichita Falls.
“I think all the creativity that went into the horse is just amazing, and the fact that Katie was able to bring that to life because one thing my sister was was creative,” Christy’s sister Cathy Gregg said.
“I look forward to coming back and visiting and seeing the horse and being with her through that,” Christy’s sister Kim Nussbaum said.
For details on this Saturday’s walk, click here.