January 9, 1923 – September 2, 2014
It is with deep sorrow, that we announce the passing of Walter Ridgway in Nanaimo, BC. Dad was born in Regina and spent his childhood in Saskatoon. At 16 years of age, when WW2 broke out, he tried to join the army. He was sent home with his father four times, and the fifth time, his dad said to keep him as he would find some way to get in anyways, Dad spent his 17th birthday on a troop ship heading for England. Dad fought through Sicily and up through Italy. He had mortar fire injuries with shrapnel embedded in his lungs and legs. He was sent to a hospital in North Africa, and after a month, was sent back to fight. He later was shot through the shoulder by a sniper and again ended up in North Africa recovering. While there, he contracted malaria which plagued him for many years.
Dad came back to Saskatoon, where he met and married Marie Nelson. They lived there for 6 years, but due to a second bout of polio for Mom, it was recommended that they move to BC for its milder winters. They settled in Campbell River in 1954. They had 3 children and later adopted one more. Dad spent most of his working life at the saw mill at Elk Falls until retirement at age 65. They moved to Nanaimo and settled into retirement. Dad made a lot of woodworking projects for the family and for charity. He loved his garden, travelling to Vegas, riding roller coasters at Disneyland and Great America, and most of all, his huge Koi fish. He played darts in a small league with many close friends.
He leaves to mourn him, his wife of 69 years, Marie; his children Ken (Darlene), Melody (Doug), Kim (Judy), Dawn (Larry) and 2 step-children Ann (Norman) and John (Bernice), 20 grandchildren and numerous great and great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by all 8 of his siblings, step-daughter Phyllis and 2 great-grandchildren.
A tea is being held in Nanaimo at Longlake Chateau on Ross Road on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 1-3pm. No flowers by request. Donations to a charity of your choice would be gratefully appreciated.