Cover photo for Rita Rose Ridge's Obituary
Rita Rose Ridge Profile Photo
1932 Rita 2024

Rita Rose Ridge

December 5, 1932 — April 16, 2024

Clark, NJ

Rita Rose Ridge (Salata), 91, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. Her smile and energetic attitude will be missed by her family and friends.


Born and raised in Perth Amboy, NJ, she was the only child to Peter & Violet Salata. After graduation from Perth Amboy High School, she met her husband John Karl Ridge whom she married in October 1955.  They moved to Clark, NJ where they built a home for themselves and raised their four children: Nancy, John, Kelly, and Robin.


Thanks to Rita’s fabulous cooking skills and creative eye, the family ran a successful side hustle as a local catering business. The family spent summers at the Jersey shore and after John retired, they traveled in their RV exploring the USA from coast to coast visiting points of interest, friends and family for several years. After the kids were out of the nest, they settled down at The Great Outdoors in Titusville, Florida in 1996.


Rita always had stories of her escapades out and about volunteering at the NASA Space Shuttle launches, the Daytona 500, and with the Honor Flight Network. From outrageous “Red Hat” luncheons to formal dinners with the Naval Attache—you never knew what she would be up to. 


When the grandkids visited there was plenty of adventure to be had. Whether it was going to Disney Resorts, exciting golf cart rides, elaborate treasure hunts, hunting for armadillos and alligators, or being treated to your favorite food, Rita knew how to make you feel loved. From quirky to culinary, she did it all, knew it all, and found ways to share that with all in a way that was uniquely her own and made you feel welcomed.


She lost her husband, John in 2014 after being married for 59 wonderful years together.  She  returned to NJ and resided in Monroe. This allowed her to be near family. Rita is predceceased not only by her husband but also her son, John in 2020. 


Rita is survived by her loving daughters: Nancy Ridge, Kelly Eltringham (Bob) and Robin von Hollen (Dirk) and her grandchildren Luke (Liz) and Steven Eltringham and Kyle, Rachel and Erik von Hollen.

Rita’s visitation will be 2:00-4:00pm, with a prayer service during on Tuesday April 23, 2024 at Gray Memorial Funeral Home, 12 Springfield Ave. Cranford


Interment will follow at a later date for both John and Rita Ridge at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, NJ.


In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to: Honor Flight @

Arrangements by Gray Funeral Directors of Cranford. Please go to: to offer condolences.



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita Rose Ridge, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Gray Memorial Funeral Home - Cranford

12 Springfield Ave., Cranford, NJ 07016

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