YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Former YSU voice instructor and choral director, C. Wade “Doc” Raridon, 88, passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday, June 5, 2021.
Wade was born December 6, 1932, in Sioux City, Iowa and was the eldest of five children.
He lived in Carroll, Iowa, as a youth and was a member of the Boy Scouts. He often worked delivering laundry for the family business owned by his maternal grandparents.
He graduated with his class in 1951 from Carroll High School and lettered in track, wrestling and football where he was the center and nose guard for the championship team. Wade then began his college education at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, majoring in electrical engineering but soon transferred to the University of Iowa in Iowa City when his interest turned instead to music. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and received both his Bachelor (1956) and Master of Arts (1957) degrees from the university’s school of music under the tutelage of Professor “Prof” Herold Stark.
It was there Wade met and fell in love with fellow voice student, Rosemary Jenkins, when they first performed together at a local Rotary dinner. They married in September of 1954 and blissfully shared their great love for music and each other for over 66 years.
Wade’s first teaching assignment was at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, followed by Morningside College in Sioux City. In 1963, he accepted a position at Youngstown State University (then known as Youngstown College) teaching voice, music theory and diction at the college’s Dana School of Music.
Upon receiving a two-year sabbatical in 1969, Wade once again went to study with Professor Stark at the University of Iowa and successfully earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1972. A digital copy of his doctoral dissertation, “A Comprehensive Performance Project in Solo Vocal Literature with an Essay on Soprano-Tenor Chamber Duets of Agostino Steffani and a Prepared Performance Edition of Steffani’s Chamber Duet, E Cosi Mi Compatite.” Wade and Rosemary debuted this duet during a faculty recital upon returning to Youngstown.
Also at this time Wade became the director of the chancel choir at Christ Church United Presbyterian in Youngstown, a position he held for the next 25 years.
He and Rosemary brought their young family to a new home on the west side of Youngstown where the couple continued to reside until 2013. They moved to Ohio Living Park Vista and most recently have resided at Wickshire Poland.
Wade resumed his teaching position at YSU and soon became known affectionately by his students as “Doc”. He became the founding director of the Dana Madrigal Singers and the Dana Chorale, initiated and organized the now traditional holiday “Carols and Cocoa” event and was instrumental in producing the festive Madrigal Dinners presented by the students each Christmas.
Both groups had the privilege of touring and performing in various European cities under his direction, the madrigal group in 1969 and the chorale in 1982 and 1999. His original madrigal group from Morningside College also toured Europe in 1961.
Dedicating over 40 years to teaching young people, Wade was active in the Ohio Music Education Association, the Ohio Choral Directors Association, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the American Choral Directors Association. In 1984 he was the recipient of Youngstown State’s Distinguished Professor Award.
He and his groups gained recognition through their performances at the OMEA Chamber Choir Festivals, several OMEA conferences and state and regional conferences for the ACDA. He previously served as both treasurer and president of the OCDA, receiving the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2015. Wade also adjudicated countless solo and choir competitions in twelve states throughout his career.
After retiring from YSU in 2004, Wade continued to teach private voice lessons at his home.
In 2005, he formed The Wade Raridon Singers, a choral group consisting of some of his and Rosemary’s former voice students. Although he was forced to step away from directing “The Singers” in 2016 due to declining health, the group continued to perform in the Youngstown area several times under the direction of member Mr. Vic Ellenberger.
Always interested in sports, Wade was a great fan of the Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Cardinals and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He served as an umpire for the Mill Creek Little League Baseball organization for several years and umpired and coached Pony League baseball as well. He and Rosemary both loved cheering-on the Iowa Hawkeyes football and basketball teams. They eagerly attended the Rose Bowl game in 1991 to watch their beloved Hawkeyes play and thoroughly enjoyed the experience despite the team’s loss.
Wade is survived by his wife, Rosemary, of Youngstown; daughter, Geri Socciarelli and son-in-law, Michael, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and son, Timothy Raridon of Girard, Ohio; four grandchildren, Anthony Socciarelli (Laura Mangual) of Tampa, Florida, Christi Nicula (Michael) of Cortland, Ohio, Edward Socciarelli (Holly) of Sarver, Pennsylvania and Andrew Raridon (Sarah) of Valparaiso, Indiana; four great-granddaughters, Vada Socciarelli, Ruth Raridon, Riley Nicula and Wren Raridon; one great-grandson, Arlo Raridon; sister, Judith Raridon of Virginia Beach, Virginia; brother, Donald “Skip” Raridon (Nancy) of Omaha, Nebraska; sister-in-law, Pat Jenkins of Washington, Iowa; many nieces and nephews; special family friend, Denise Smith of Ravenna, Ohio and countless dear friends and former colleagues.
He was preceded in death by his eldest son, Atty. Michael Raridon in 2019; parents, Guy and Dallas Raridon; brother, Delbert “Dobie” Raridon; sister, Barbara Mueller; brother-in-law, Anton Mueller; parents-in-law, Charles and Ruth Jenkins; brothers-in-law, Kermit Jenkins and Quentin Jenkins and sister-in-law, Dorothy Jenkins.
Visitation will be on Thursday, June 10, 2021, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Lane Family Funeral Homes, Anstrom Chapel, Boardman, Ohio, with the funeral service beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Graveside services will take place at a later date at the Oregon Township Cemetery in Ainsworth, Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, material tributes may made to the Herald Stark Opera Scholarship, 92 East Burlington Street, Iowa City, IA 52242.
Wade will always be remembered for his sharp wit, his great sense of humor and love of puns, his unwavering dedication to his hundreds of students and his loving devotion to Rosemary and their family. But most of all, he will be remembered for the supreme joy he found in beautiful music – whether listening to, teaching, or performing – it was the cornerstone of his life.
The Raridon Family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Thomas Traikoff, the staffs at Park Vista, Wickshire Poland, Home Instead and Hospice of the Valley for their excellent care during Wade’s extended illness.
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A television tribute will air Tuesday, June 8 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.