Ray C. Shortridge

Shortridge-Ray

Ray C. Shortridge, 96, of Quincy, passed away at 8:59 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at Bickford Cottages in Quincy, IL.

Friends and Family are invited to Ray’s Life Celebration at a visitation that will be Tuesday, November 7, 2023, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at O’Donnell-Cookson Life Celebration Home in Quincy, IL. There will be a Masonic Service at the end of the visitation at 6:45pm.

A Funeral Ceremony will be at 10:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at the O’Donnell-Cookson Life Celebration Home in Quincy. Rev. Steve Disseler will officiate. Burial will follow at Greenmount Cemetery in Quincy, IL.

Ray was born April 12, 1927, in Stoutsville, MO to Claude Rayburn and Jennie B. (Dowell) Shortridge. He was married to Marjorie A. “Marge” Weiman on March 16, 1946, in Palmyra, MO. She preceded him in death on July 20, 2010.

Survivors include his two children, Dennis Shortridge (Cathy) and Sheila Morgan (Kent “Butch”), both of Quincy, IL; 5 grandchildren, Melanie Allen (Jason), Charles Shortridge (Michelle), Lindsay Ertel (Mitch), William (“Billy”) Shortridge, and Margaret (“Maggie”) Curry (Lance), all of Quincy; ten great-grandchildren; one sister-in-law, Joan Dorian; and lots of loving nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife, Ray was preceded in death by his parents; five sisters, Nellie Brinkman, Frances Marie Fielding, Thelma Crouch, Betty Geisendorfer, and Maybelle “Chic” Selby; his aunt and uncle, Roy and Babe Dowell; and his companion of 10 years, Alma Arntzen.

Ray Shortridge, the founder of Shortridge Construction & Ellington Development, was a man of remarkable determination and a strong work ethic. His life was a testament to the values of perseverance and hard work, as he overcame hardships during the Great Depression, leaving school early to support his family. He engaged in various jobs, from making levies along the Mississippi River to working at a shipyard during World War II. Ray entered the construction trade laying floor tile for Rouse Roofing. In the late 1950s, he ventured into entrepreneurship and started home building. With the help of his wife, he developed Ray-Mar and Northridge subdivisions in Quincy. In 1968, he began developing Ellington Acres on Ellington Road and made a pivotal shift toward industrial/commercial construction. Shortridge Construction was founded in 1970 & Ellington Development soon followed. His construction company thrived as he built and leased buildings along Ellington Road and the corners of 3rd & Maine. But even as the industrial park grew, he was building all over Quincy leaving a legacy of notable projects. He was instrumental in the creation of the Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex and the Pier Restaurant (now the Quincy Boat Club). Ray’s commitment extended beyond borders, as his company’s success led to projects in Africa, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia for local customers who asked if he would travel as their contractor. As his first industrial park became full, he looked for a new area of town to develop and found it on Wismann Lane, which is now home to Wismann Ridge Business Park. Throughout the Tri-State area his lasting impact is seen through the buildings he constructed. To recognize his successful career, he was inducted into the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame in 2016. His unfinished dream was to develop the Quincy Riverfront.

Ray’s interests and hobbies painted a colorful picture of his life. He found joy in trap shooting at the Northside Boat Club and Quincy Gun Club, and his playful side was evident through his fondness for practical jokes. He was not only a man of land but also of the sky, holding a pilot’s license to pursue his adventurous spirit. The water held a special place in his heart, where he enjoyed boating and waterskiing. He also found peace in fishing, making frequent trips to Canada. He wintered in Naples, Florida, providing him with cherished moments under the sun and plenty of time to look for alligators and make key lime pies. Ray was an animal lover. He enjoyed horseback riding, and had a horse named Jennie B, named after his mother, and two beloved bulldogs, Ruffles I and Ruffles II among many others.

Ray was not only a successful businessman but also a dedicated member of various organizations, including being a Past Master of the Lambert Masonic Lodge #659, Quincy Consistory, Ansar Shrine Temple of Springfield, and he served as the past President of the Quincy Shrine Club & the Quincy High Twelve Club. His involvement extended to the Shrine Skeeter Patrol and the Quincy High Twelve Club. For many years, Ray actively raised funds for the Shriners Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, a cause he held close to his heart. In recognition of his commitment, he was awarded the prestigious Everett Lawrence Award in 2010 and the Meritorious Service Award from the Scottish Rite in 2013. Ray’s commitment extended to his community, as he was a member of Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ. Ray Shortridge’s life was a rich tapestry of hard work, adventure, dedication to philanthropic endeavors, and a deep love for the outdoors, but his prized possession was his family and loved ones. His family extends way beyond blood relatives, as he considered longtime employees, subcontractors, and business associates not only friends but family. He will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved him.

Memorial contributions may be made to Shriners Children’s Hospital or the Quincy Riverfront Development Foundation.

Friends of Ray’s are encouraged to leave a memory or story on our tribute wall.

Online condolences may be shared and video tribute may be viewed at www.ODonnellCookson.com.

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