Sue Calcaterra Ridgway, Herrin native, and area businesswoman has been named HerrinFesta Grand Parade Marshall for 2016. A senior account executive for the Arthur Agency in Carbondale, she was a longtime physician recruiter for SIH.
The daughter of Julius and Elda (Ruggeri) Calcaterra, she is a graduate of St. Mary’s School (OLMC) and Herrin High School. She attended Webster College in St. Louis, MO and John A. Logan College. She is a graduate of SIU with a Bachelor of Science degree. Her great grandfather Bart Colombo and Louis Dell’Era were two of the early Italian leaders in Herrin. They were instrumental in starting the Catholic Church in Herrin in 1901 and Colombo was a successful businessman in the first decade of the 20th century. Her maternal grandparents were Charles and Maria (Carnagho) Ruggeri and paternal grandparents, Orfeo and Susie (Colombo) Calcaterra. All of them, except Susie(Colombo) who was born in Hurst, were born in Cuggiono, Italy.
Sue’s father, Julius Calcaterra, was one of six brothers, Carl, Herman, Mark, Orefo Jr. “Doc” and Robert, who owned the Herrin Feed Store, 116 East Walnut in Herrin. All six brothers owned O. Calcaterra Distributing Company, the Falstaff Beer distributor. He was on the First Federal Savings & Loan Board of Directors.
Her working career spanned two positions in the athletic departments of both, SIU and John A Logan. She enjoyed her work with Jim Hart at SIU and John Sala at JALC. Her career with SIH evolved into the position she currently holds as senior account executive with the Arthur Agency in Carbondale.
Sue has two children, son James, who is Vice President, Fricke Management and Contracting, Inc, in Murphysboro. His wife, Tracy (Ward) is Librarian at North Side Primary Center in Herrin. They have two children, Ryan (17) and Reagan (15) who both attend HHS. Daughter Julie, who previously worked in marketing and as an RN is married to Aaron Christ. He is Vice President, AFB International in St. Charles, MO. They have two children Cameron (11) and Cooper (8). They reside in Wentzville, MO.
Her brothers are Jim and Marcia Calcaterra, Washington, MI and Paul and Candy Calcaterra, owner of Calcaterra Foods in Herrin.
She is a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Herrin and serves on the New School Fundraising Committee, and has worked with the Herrin Memorial Garden at Herrin City Hall Fundraising Committee. She is a lifetime member of the SIU Alumni Association, a former member of the Friends of WSIU Board at SIU and served on the Night Shield Fundraising Committee in West Frankfort. Ridgway Construction was the general contractor for the new Herrin City Hall in 1976.
Sue has only happy memories of growing up in Herrin on South 11th street. She walked both to and from school in elementary and high school with her cousins and classmates. Her friendships from childhood have been maintained with a group of women classmates who for 25 years spend a winter vacation together, often in Florida, Mexico or California.
She enjoys traveling and has made excursions throughout the United States and to Europe. She has fond memories of her visit to Italy three years ago.
She is a famous cook. Her friends know she will be the first one at their door when there is sickness or sadness with a homemade meal. Her mother was an Italian gourmet cook and made everything from scratch. Sue says she learned at the hands of the very best cook, her mother.
Her friends and the organizations she supports know they can count on her for large and small projects. She does them with a willing and modest heart and likes to work behind the scenes.
Growing up in Herrin was a treasure to her. She remembers band box neighborhoods where everyone pitched in and kept their homes in near perfect condition. She has chosen to stay in Herrin where her memories are rich with happiness and where many of her friends still live.
Cris Trapani, HerrinFesta President, says of Sue, “She is a wonderful choice for this award. She has been a mainstay and an asset to the Herrin community throughout her life. She is a woman to count on.”
Sue will be honored at the Mayor’s Honoree HerrinFesta Italiana Banquet, May 24 at the Herrin Elks and will lead the Grand Festa Parade with her family on May 28 in Herrin.