Glenda Vestal Ratledge Waddell

Glenda Waddell, 87, passed away at Riverside Regional Hospital on March 16, 2024, surrounded by her family. Glenda was born in Jonesville, NC on February 1, 1937. She attended Appalachian State University, earning a degree in early childhood education. Glenda always said her college experience was the best time ever. While in college, she met the love of her life, Thomas Henry Ratledge, a business and education major, and they married in 1957 before embarking on their careers as teachers.

They moved around a lot in the early days before settling down in Newport News, Virginia. Glenda tried several elementary school grades but enjoyed teaching kindergarten the best, where she could help lay down the foundation for learning in young minds without having to teach complicated math concepts to children. Tommy died young, and Glenda raised her children alone with the support of her family. She had a variety of hobbies, including tennis, skiing, gardening, and painting. She had an incredible green thumb and could grow beautiful flowers from a seemingly dead stick and create masterpieces with paint and canvas.

In later years, Glenda suffered from dementia, but that did not rob her of her love for her family or her determination to remain independent. While we are incredibly sad that we have to say goodbye, we are also at peace knowing that she is in a better place, reunited with Tommy, her sisters, and her parents.

Glenda was preceded in death by her father, Horace Vestal; her mother, Daphna Perdue Vestal; her older sister, Kelly Jane Vestal; her baby sister, Patricia Lane Vestal; and her husband, Thomas Henry Ratledge.

Glenda is survived by her son, Thomas Henry (Hank) Ratledge Jr, daughter, Lee Ratledge Knill, daughter-in-law, Laurie Ratledge, and son-in-law, Pete Knill. She also leaves behind six grandchildren: Sean, Patrick, Katie, Rachel, Tommy, and Joey.

A memorial service will be held at Peninsula Funeral Home on Friday, March 22, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. 



  1. Gloria D. Howard

    My Prayers go out to you Hank and your entire family. I know it may be hard right now, but always remember the good times that can bring smiles to your face. I know they can be comfort during the hard times. Take as long as you need, we got this.

  2. Nita and Pat Payne

    We’re so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. May the special memories you made together help you through this difficult time. Keeping you in our prayers.

  3. Derrick Chavis

    Hank and Lee: So sorry to hear about your loss. I know this is a tough time. Your families are in my prayers.

    It was no more than a week ago, I was telling a friend how we would play with our Hot Wheels cars in the neighbors flower bed. Such good memories.

    I hope you are well.

  4. Verdis and Ron Knight

    To Glenda’s family, I/we are saddened by her passing. I was her student teacher back in the Spring of 1976. What a wonderful experience! She welcomed me so warmly and shared her knowledge of Kindergarteners. Amazing woman, caring, patient, creative, etc. the list could go on and on. I truly loved my Kindergarten experience under her tutelage. Hope God is giving you the strength and love you deserve during this difficult time.

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