Mary Alice Ridenour, 1936-2024

03.14.24 | Homepage

    Mary Alice Joines was born in Palmer, Texas, on October 9, 1936, to Leonard Melvy Joines and Alice Lorraine (Hurst) Joines. She peacefully went to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, March 11, 2024, in Rowlett, Texas, at the age of 87, surrounded by family members. She is home again with her mother, father, and sister.

    Mary Alice spent the first 14 years of her life in Forney, Texas where her father was the pastor of First Baptist Church. After two years at Judson Baptist Church in Cayuga, her father became the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Dallas. Mary Alice went to Forest Avenue High School in Dallas where she was active in basketball, tennis, choir, and musicals.

    Mary Alice and her sister Kathleen played together in piano recitals, played at church for their father, and sometimes Mary Alice played the church organ.

    She met Robert Stanley Ridenour in high school, and they married on November 18, 1955, in Dallas, Texas, and were married for 68 years. They were the parents of three boys: Dale, Paul, and David.

    Mary Alice and her husband taught 10th grade Sunday School at East Grand Baptist Church for many years. She also sang in the church choir. Later in her life she would sing in the choir at First Baptist Church in Rockwall.

    When she was in her forties, she took classical guitar lessons from Enric Madriguera at Eastfield College. She began working at the law firm of Allen, Knutts, and Castle before becoming the receptionist at the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, where her coworkers affectionately referred to her as "Mary Alice, the Voice of Dallas." She later retired at age 74.

    Mary Alice loved to take road trips with her sister to see bluebonnets and bald eagles. She enjoyed creating art, water skiing, and numerous family snow skiing trips over the years. She also loved animals and had numerous rabbits and cats and raised monarch butterflies in her kitchen.

    Mary Alice gave her boys some good advice. She would often say, "Never say never," "Money, it's only numbers," "You can't always get what you want," and "Don't be afraid to ask. All they can do is say no."

    Mary Alice was a prayer warrior who prayed for her sons every time they left for school and work, and then later on for their wives, and then her grandchildren.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, Leonard and Alice Joines; her sister, Kathleen Joines Graves; and her great nephew, Aaron Anderson.

    She is survived by her husband, Robert Ridenour; sons, Dale Ridenour and wife Deborah, Paul Ridenour and wife Dottie, David Ridenour and wife Sharon; grandsons, Rusty Ridenour and wife Ashlynn, Matthew Ridenour, Grant Ridenour and wife Jacque, Calvin Ridenour and wife Chloe; granddaughter, London Ridenour Matter and husband Dawson; nieces, Mary Lynn Graves-Anderson, and Kathy Graves Burns and husband Rob; great-nieces, Amanda Anderson, and Samantha Burns; great-nephew, Matthew Burns; and 2nd great-niece, Erin Anderson.

    Mary Alice will be buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Forney, Texas next to her uncle Jimmy Joines, her parents, and her grandparents.

    Click here for service information.

    Clergy who worked with Mary Alice wrote the following remembrances:

    Maryalice served the Diocese of Dallas from 1989. She retired from that service in 2010. For twenty-one years, she greeted all who called the Diocese or who came for a visit. She had a wonderful smile and a very hospitable presence, and she made everyone feel welcomed.

    Maryalice also assisted greatly with the annual Diocesan Convention, together with her co-workers, and she continued to do this labor of love long after she left her post. She was always eager to help out, and enjoyed renewing relationships with our people.

    I met her, of course, upon my arrival in the Diocese. She was reliable, a woman of faith, and possessed a sense of humor that served her well in dealing with all sorts of people in all sorts of situations.

    I must say, too, that she was a worrier. She was always concerned when I had to make various trips. And she expressed her concern by promising to pray. She also seemed very relieved when I returned. I told her one day that all that worry must have worked, because nothing she worried about ever came true! She laughed for so long, I eventually made this into a sign for her and tacked it to the wall of her workspace. She kept it until she left.

    She would often emphasize that I was her "personal bishop." She was, of course, a Baptist! But she could not have been more dedicated to our Diocesan Mission, or our Lord, if she had been born and raised in our church. I always said she was an Episcobaptist, with dual membership so to speak.

    We can all give thanks to God for her ministry and witness with and among us, and I trust that you will join me in doing so at the altar this Sunday. --The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas (Ret.)


    I’ll add two things about Maryalice that bring a smile to my face.  I called her “Eagle Eyes.” First, she was a proofreader par excellence. She proofread so many things. Only once or twice did we differ. 

    Second, she was a BIG Eagles fan, as in Don Henley Eagles. Shortly after I came on the bishop’s staff she went to an Eagles concert. When I asked her if her kids took her, she said, No, of course not. If they had wanted to go, they needed to pay their own way! Besides, they don’t like the Eagles! That’s when I realized what a really spunky lady she was!  --The Very Rev’d Dr. Neal Michell


    For many years the voice of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas when we called on the phone, beloved Mary Alice has entered the greater life. She was a wonderfully welcoming presence when we walked into the diocesan office, making everyone feel welcome.

    Father of all, we pray to you for those we love, but see no longer: Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and, in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. --The Rev. David Petrash, Canon Pastor


    Mary Alice Ridenour was an amazing Christian, a gifted intercessor who could pluck unusual graces down from Heaven, and one of the most decent, friendly, and kindly women I have ever had the opportunity to know. 

    For years, she managed the phones and visitors of the Diocese with cool and aplomp.  The only time I saw her slightly rattled was when the White House called to ask Bishop Stanton to be present when the President welcomed Pope Benedict, who knew Bp. Stanton when and wanted him present at a reception.  She admitted that she almost hung up, as she thought it was a prank call.

    She was a very notable Christian and servant of Jesus.  The world is lonelier without her presence.  I am very sorry to miss her funeral. --The Rev. Canon Victoria Heard