Join us today to celebrate Ray's Life. For Livestream on ZOOM CLICK HERE (Meeting ID: 676 537 3541 , Passcode: 054371) on Wednesday at 1:00 PM .
For Facebook LIVE, Click HERE.
Lt. Colonel James Raymond Ridge, age 95, passed away at his home on July 31, 2020. Ray was born in Lansdowne, PA, and attended St. Philomena Grade School, Yeadon High School, St. Joseph’s University, and the University of Pennsylvania Evening School. He served with the 310th Combat Engineers Battalion of the 85th Infantry in the Italian Campaign during World War II. Ray was awarded three Bronze Major Battle Stars. At 20, he was promoted to Master Sergeant. Ray remained active in the US Army as a recruiter after the war, followed by 18 years in the Army Reserves. He was Detachment Commander under General and State Senator Clarence Bell, and then retired as Executive Officer of the 304th Civil Affairs Brigade in 1971.
After retirement from active duty, Ray worked for Gulf Oil Corp, Avisun Corp, Afuture Fund, and retired from ICI Americas, Astra Zeneca Division as Eastern Sales Representative in 1984. Never one to be idle, Ray had several post-retirement jobs, including driving patients to medical appointments with Point to Point and serving as manager of the Marple Swim Club in the late 1980s. He also was a driver for Mercedes Benz of West Chester in the early 2000s, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
Ray was an accomplished oil painter. He was continually involved in home projects and built several additions to the family home. He was an avid animal lover and was always the most loved by all the family pets. He played sports throughout his life, playing football and basketball in high school and softball on a Gulf Oil team with his coworkers. Ray enjoyed golf from a young age, buying his first set one club at a time with earnings from caddying from the age of 12. He appreciated the structure and camaraderie of the game. He was especially fond of travel with friends, summer vacations in Ocean City, NJ, and fishing trips with his brother and various nephews. Ray and his wife, Edith, were renowned for their jitterbug and Mummer strut on the dance floor. Passionate Eagles fans, Ray and Edith held season tickets since opening of Veteran’s Stadium. Known as Poppy to his family, he will be most remembered for his wry sense of humor and mischievous nature, which was unfailing even as his cognition diminished.
Ray was preceded in death by his brother, Thomas A. and sister, Elizabeth Gries and by his wife of 62 years, Edith Mae nee Smith. He is survived by daughters Kathy Saybolt and Anne Nelms, five grandchildren, Jenny, Katie, Christopher, Mark and Timothy and five great grandchildren, Timothy, Abigail, Daniel, Kase and Matthew, and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial Contributions may be made in Ray's name to the Brandywine Valley SPCA.