Minnie Woods Pridgen, 95, a long-time former resident of Dothan, died on June 9, 2012, in Atlanta, following several months of declining health.
Funeral services will be on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM in the Chapel of the First United Methodist Church with Dr. Jim Sanders officiating.Burial will follow immediately in Memory Hill Cemetery with Byrd Funeral Home directing.The family will receive friends Monday evening at Byrd Funeral Home from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First United Methodist Church, 1380 West Main Street, Dothan, Alabama 36301 or to a charity of your own choosing.
Mrs. Pridgen was born on October 13, 1916 and raised in Ozark, the eldest of four children of the late Minnie and Jesse J. Carroll.She attended Ozark City Schools.At an early age, her parents decided to have her study piano and, by fate, a pupil of famed pianist, Paderewski, who lived in Ozark became her long-time teacher.By the time Mrs. Pridgen went off to Ward Belmont College in Nashville, she had her own concert grand piano and was giving recitals 'all over Southeast Alabama.'Upon receiving a degree in music, she returned to Ozark, where she taught piano.Though she gave up playing from 'piano-fatigue' soon after marriage, her love of music stayed with her throughout her life
On April 12, 1938, she married Dothan attorney Noel Frank Pridgen, Sr. who is credited with originating the idea for the first National Peanut Festival in 1938. Mrs. Pridgen was a faithful and devoted member of the First United Methodist Church, having become a member of its predecessor-Foster Street Methodist-upon arriving in Dothan, for a cumulative total of 74 years.Frank Pridgen, Sr. was on the building committee of the present West Main building and both he and son Jim (representing the nursery) participated at the official groundbreaking in 1949.
A sixty-plus year member of the Dothan Country Club, Mrs. Pridgen was a leading light in the social and cultural life of Dothan for decades.Presiding over and raising a family in a large white home on the corner of Boulevard and West Woodland, many people would remember her for being a superb cook and hostess there and in her later residences at Colony Square Apartments and Jamestown where she built her 'retirement' home at the age of eighty. She continued to cook and entertain and was still providing most of her own meals well into her nineties.
In 2002, it became necessary to move to Atlanta to be nearer family.A whole new phase of her life began in a mid-rise senior living facility where she made a new set of friends.Though she ever missed Dothan, this move afforded her the chance to become a season subscriber to the Atlanta Symphony as well as other cultural opportunities that only a big city could offer.However, her 'greatest joy' of the last decade, as she reiterated many times, was the opportunity to interact with and become part of the lives of her six young great-grandchildren, who knew her, simply, as 'Anma.'
She was predeceased by her husband in 1970 as well as by younger brother, Jesse J. Carroll Jr., and sisters, Mrs. Baker Gamble (Annette) and Mrs. S.W. Windham (Jane).
She is survived by two sons, Frank Pridgen Jr. of Land O' Lakes, FL and James M. Pridgen of Washington DC and also by daughter-in-law Rhea P. Pridgen of Marietta, GA, as well as two grandsons, H. Franklin Pridgen (Amy) and J. Windham Pridgen (Tara) of Atlanta.