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Longtime Meeker resident Erika Flaherty died peacefully in her home surrounded by her family after a long illness with dementia.
Erika was born in Bayreuth, Germany, to Emil and Babette Kurzdorfer. She was the youngest of four children.
Erika was preceded in death by; her parents; two brothers, Karl and Lothar; one sister, Elfriede, all from Germany; and her late husband, Dick Flaherty of Meeker.
Erika met and married Donald Wayne Ridgeway in Germany. Donnie and Erika were married Feb. 7, 1959. Two children were born from this union. Randy Wayne Ridgeway born in Neueremberg, Germany, and and Cheryl Renee Ridgeway (Mazzola) was born in Meeker, Colo. Donnie and Erika divorced in 1988.
Erika became a United States citizen in 1982 and was proud to call America her new home.
Erika worked very hard supporting and nurturing her family and made sure her children were taken care of. She worked cleaning houses, was self-employed and spent many years working as a CNA at Pioneer’s Hospital. Her love was caring for those in need.
She was very passionate and compassionate when it came to taking care of her patients, and anyone who was a recipient of her kindness benefited from her loving touch and kind words. She retired from Pioneers Hospital in 1996.
Erika married Dick Flaherty on Sept. 17, 1994. They were able to enjoy their retirement years traveling and spending time with family and friends. Dick passed away in 2008.
Erika was a wonderful wife, mother, Oma (grandmother), aunt, sister, sister-in-law and friend. She loved to garden and enjoyed the beautiful flowers; reaping the fruits of her gardening labor with her family and friends. She loved all the birds and fed them well (along with the deer and squirrels).
She spent many hours doing jigsaw puzzles, reading books, cooking wonderful meals, playing cards (especially Pitch) and loved to play penny slot machines every chance she had.
Erika is survived by: her two children Randy (Teresa) Ridgeway and Cheryl (Anthony) Mazzola; four grandchildren, DJ, Jason, Danny Ridgeway and Anthony “Bubba” Mazzola; seven great-grandchildren, Tanner, Macy, Madison, Dayton, Kayden and Kyler Ridgeway and, recently, Deklan Rose; and many family members in Germany and across the US.
Funeral services were held Wednesday June 1, 2016, at Meeker United Methodist Church, and interment followed at Highland Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Hope West Meeker at 575 3rd St., Meeker Colo. 81641, online at HopeWestCO.org or to the Walbridge Wing Activity Fund, c/o Pioneers Medical Center, 100 Pioneers Medical Center Drive, Meeker, Colo. 81641.