The Honorable Julian's Story
The Honorable Julian L. Ridlen, 77, Logansport, passed away at 5:18 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis.
Born in Decatur, Illinois, on Feb. 4, 1940, Julian was the son of Charles Fred and Doris Franklin Ridlen.
On June 1, 1963, in Logansport, Julian was married to Susanne (Sue) Smith, who survives.
A 1958 graduate of MacArthur High School, Decatur, Illinois, Julian received a B.A. degree from Anderson University in history, with minors in political science, chemistry, and English; and a J.D. degree from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.
An attorney since 1968, Julian was elected city court judge in 1971, and again in 1975, and state treasurer in 1978 and again in 1982. During this period Julian was responsible for negotiating Indiana's loan to the Chrysler Corp., for the creation of the Indiana Bond Bank, serving as its first chairman. By appointment of Governor Robert D. Orr, Julian served as chairman of the Indiana Housing Finance Authority.
Julian was elected to two terms as Judge of the Cass Circuit Court, and for the past 10 years served as senior judge, until his retirement in December 2016.
Through the years, Julian's interest in history has continued through graduate study and teaching. He served as president of the Cass County Historical Society, taught Indiana history as adjunct faculty at Indiana University Kokomo, taught courses at Anderson University, the University of Indianapolis and IUPUI, and authored two articles concerning aspects of the public life and influence of President Benjamin Harrison.
Julian has written contributions for the "Encyclopedia of Indianapolis" and the 2010 publication, "Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court." In addition, he has contributed to three Cass County histories and currently was working on a book with the working title of "The Life and Times of Sunny Jim Watson."
Julian was active in various local organizations over the years, serving on the Red Cross Board (president), Kiwanis Club, U.S. Bicentennial Committee (chairman), United Fund (vice president), Chamber of Commerce, Youth Services Bureau (president), Mental Health Association, Salvation Army, as well as serving as elder and Sunday school teacher at Calvary Presbyterian Church.
Julian twice received the Sagamore of the Wabash, from Governors Bowen and Orr, the Grissom Outstanding Community Service Award, the Anderson University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the SPEA Award from Indiana University Kokomo, was twice the recipient of the Book of Golden Deeds, the Cass County Spirit of the Community Award, the Jaycee's Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award, and the Boss of the Year from the National Secretaries Association. Julian and Sue were honored last fall with the Cass County Community Foundation's "Thanks for Giving" 2016 Volunteer Award.
In conjunction with his role as judge, Julian developed various programs to engage youth in academic and career advancing pursuits, including an alternative school, the Family Opportunity Center, a community coordinated effort called "Breaking the Cycle," and an adolescent intramural mentoring program that expanded to include the construction of AIM High Park.
Both Sue and Julian have been active with the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis. Julian served on the board and headed a task force involving the expansion of the site facilities. He was to be recognized next week as the first recipient of the "Ridlen Award for Visionary Service."
Also surviving are sisters, Roberta Weber, Fallbrook, California, Betty (Don) Feaster, Indianapolis, and brothers, Charles (Greta) Ridlen, Decatur, Illinois, and Edward (Sue Ann) Ridlen, Ames, Iowa, as well as nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
Other close friends include brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Joe and Barbara Smith, Indianapolis, and Tom and Ginger Clark, Chestertown, Maryland, and kidney donor Karla Stouse and her husband Jeff.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Calvary Presbyterian Church, with a luncheon to follow in Bigler Hall. Pastor Coenraad Brand will officiate the service. Interment will be in Mount Hope Cemetery.
Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Kroeger Funeral Home; and 10-11 a.m. Wednesday at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Presbyterian Church, 701 Spencer St., Logansport, IN 46947 or to the Cass County Community Foundation, P. O. Box 441, Logansport, IN 46947.
Family and friends may leave a memory or message of condolence by visiting the online obituary at www.kroegerfuneralhome.com.
Published on October 12, 2017