Mike was born in Greybull, Wyoming to his parents Stella Anna Jaskowiak and Donald Warren Ridgeway.
He grew up in Casper, Wyoming and loved playing all sports including football, baseball, basketball, and anything else active. He graduated from Kelly Walsh High School in 1975. He was a starter and proud member of the Trojan Men’s Basketball State Championship teams in 1974 and 1975. After graduating from Kelly Walsh he played basketball for the Casper College Thunderbirds from 1975-1977 under the famous Swede Erickson, with whom he had a great relationship until Swede’s death.
After Casper College he played basketball at University of Northern Colorado in Greely, Colorado where he received his Bachelor’s degree in business in 1979. At Northern Colorado he became friends with tennis players and taught himself how to play with his God given talent for athletics. Thereafter, he lived in Dallas and worked in stock broking and finance before moving back to his hometown of Casper in the early 1980’s.
After moving back to Casper, Mike continued to play tennis and basketball competitively in any way possible. During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s he was one of the highest rated amateur tennis players in the rocky mountain region, which is pretty incredible for a self-taught Casper boy.
He met his wife Mary Kinskey through tennis mutual friends, and they married in 1985. They had four children together: Kyle, Brian, Sadie and Ben. Mike also founded M&M Chemical Supply which he owned and operated for 14 years before selling it in 2001. Mike was an incredibly engaged father and loved to coach his children in all sports. He was a coach and mentor to multiple generations of athletes from Casper. Mike was an avid supporter of Casper College Basketball, the head of the Booster Club for multiple years, and allowed many of the players to live with him and his family in any time of need. Mike continued coaching and was proud of many of the most recent 2023 high school graduates here in town that he worked with on his own time. One of his proudest moments was at 51 years old to still play in the 2008 alumni basketball game at Casper College against his son Brian, the then starting shooting guard for the T’Birds.
Mike retired from business in 2009 and thereafter engaged in several entrepreneurial endeavors. However, his biggest focus was always his children. He was a loving father who always tried to provide every opportunity imaginable for his children, even if it stretched him beyond his limits. He was giving with his time to many kids in the area, even continuing to help coach his granddaughter’s 3 and 4 year old YMCA basketball team this last winter.
He cherished spending time with his brothers and his family on his property on Casper Mountain. He loved chopping down trees, hitting golf balls, shooting at targets, and otherwise just keeping himself busy improving the land. The property was even featured on an episode of Axe Men on the History Channel. He was a charismatic man, and had a heart of gold; if you ever met Mike Ridgeway, you never forgot him.