2017-06-20 sp-hsbrownim

Former longtime Bartlesville baseball coach Spence Ridgon, who died Monday at 46, poses with daughter Rilee in July 2017 at Bill Doenges Memorial Park Stadium. Last month, the Bartlesville school board voted to rename the facility Rigdon Field. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World file

Spence Rigdon was remembered Tuesday as a “great guy and a great advocate for the Bartlesville community.”

Rigdon, athletic director for Bartlesville Public Schools and a former longtime Bruins baseball coach, died Monday at 46 after a 3½-year struggle with colon cancer.

“To me, he was a true Bruin, the epitome of what we ask our kids to be at this school,” said Matt Hancock, assistant director of athletics and activities. “He was devout in his love for Bartlesville and he worked really hard to give his best.”

A 1991 Bartlesville High graduate, Ridgon served the district for 18 years as a teacher and coach and had been athletic director since June 2018.

He coached baseball for 15 years, often continuing in a period that included an estimated 30 rounds of chemotherapy treatments. In June 2017, he underwent his fourth surgery to remove cancerous tissue, malignant lymph nodes and the right side of his liver.

Last month, the Bartlesville school board voted to rename Bill Doenges Memorial Park Stadium as Ridgon Field.

Rigdon is survived by his wife, Christina; daughter Rilee, a former Bruins state-champion distance runner and current sophomore on the Oklahoma State University cross country and track teams; and sons Bradee and Cy.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in the Bartlesville High School Fine Arts Center. Visitation is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Friday at Bartlesville’s East Cross United Methodist Church.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with medical and mortgage debts. Click here to contribute.