Well known nurse, band director, photographer, singer, athlete, community leader and friend, Ingrid “Inky” Ringrose ended her journey at home early Friday morning May 18, 2018. She had been dealing for many years with the results of a hit and run accident which left her with a number of physical issues with which she bravely struggled to overcome.
She was born Ingrid A. Petersen in Solvang, Calif., on June 14, 1935 to Danish parents Alfred and Ema Petersen. She was educated in Solvang through high school and received a nursing education at San Jose State College Hospital. For almost 20 years, she worked at the Lewis Memorial Hospital and Clinic in Yosemite National Park, in all aspects of medicine with Dr. Avery Sturm.
While in Yosemite, Inky met and married Bob Ringrose, who was the foreman at the park service maintenance shop. They were joined together on Dec. 2, 1967.
When they both retired, Bob and Inky built a home and shop on family property in Mariposa, and for the next years worked together building cabinets and furniture for many homes and families in Mariposa. She and Bob began studying photography, entering many photographs in the Mariposa County Fair. Her favorite subjects were Yosemite and children. She was very skilled at marquetry and knitting, participated in the Mariposa Community Choir, worked at the Mariposa County Health Department, was an outstanding bicyclist and golfer, playing golf at many venues including courses in Fresno.
She founded, with friends, a community band which rehearsed in the basement of her and Bob’s home. The band soon became known as “Inky’s Basement Band.” She provided the music for the band and acquired many used instruments which were often used by school children, some who joined the band. Using her Danish skills, she baked treats for the group after each practice session.
An opportunity to play was seldom passed up by the band mates. The band, after 20 years still together, has played at many events in Mariposa, including the many annual parades, the Art Park, Fourth of July at the Fairgrounds, Senior Center and at Christmas time at the Ewing Annex at the Hospital. Before the Art Park was built, the band even played downtown Mariposa at various locations including at the Vault clothing store, and even for one event, closed 5th Street as a site for the band for an early Butterfly Festival.
Inky played the clarinet and directed the band, but after the accident, she became the conductor as her injury made playing the instrument impossible. Nonetheless, she kept the band together through thick and thin and there are many musicians in Mariposa who are alumni.
The last few years had been difficult for Inky, but she kept doing as much as possible, looking after Bob, her friends and the band.
Inky is survived by husband Bob and his four children, Rick, Rob, Lynn and Leigh, their spouses, many grandchildren and great grandchildren, her many friends and their children, her band members and a whole community that she served, all who were counted as family.
A celebration of her life and love of Mariposa and Yosemite, and everything Danish, will be held in building A of the Mariposa County Fairgrounds on June 30, at 11 a.m. Her last request was that everyone wear something of blue to honor her Danish heritage.