RIDLEY, Rev. Walter -
January 8, 1930 – February 27, 2023
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Robert Walter Ridley, at the age of 93.
After several months of declining health, he died peacefully, at Toronto General Hospital.
He was predeceased by wife, Margaret (Ladd) Ridley; brothers, Jim, Harold, Clifford, and Aylmer; and sister, Ellen.
He is survived by daughters, Linda Mewett and Donna Ridley; grandsons, Christopher (Courtney) Mewett and Nicholas (Jade) Mewett; and great-grandchildren, Harlow, Lochlan and Bryce; former son-in-law, Paul and partner, Karen.
He is also survived by wife, Mary Ann McPherson; and her sons, Ashley (Katy) and Chris (Misa) Wilson.
Walter was born in 1930 in Peace River, Alberta. His parents died at an early age and he was raised by loving relatives in New Brunswick. He attended Mount Allison University and became a United Church Minister. There, he met Margaret Ladd and they were married until her passing in 1995.
A few years after Margaret's death, he met and married Mary Ann McPherson and they enjoyed a happy life together.
As a young couple, Walter and Margaret moved to Japan with baby Linda in tow, had Donna three years later and lived and worked there for ten years. It was an amazing experience for the whole family.
Back in Canada the family moved to Norval, Ontario, where he was Minister at Norval, Huttonville and Home Churches. After 20-plus years, Walter and Margaret moved to Toronto where he became Minister at Presteign-Woodbine United Church.
Upon his retirement, he became an active member of Metropolitan United Church. Walter was a social activist, believed in inclusivity and dedicated his life to the service of others. He supported and took part in a myriad of organizations and causes such as Amnesty International, Vietnamese and Syrian refugees, Kairos, Toronto Supper Club, The Peace and Justice Committee at Metropolitan Church, to name a few.
He donated to dozens of charities. He was also a lover and supporter of the Arts, namely ballet, opera and the symphony. Walter was very well travelled, visiting Mary Ann's son and family in Prague several times and making side trips to many different countries.
They also enjoyed vacations at various Caribbean and South American destinations. Walter loved going to the family cottage where he indulged in his love of nature and gardening. He insisted that the mosquitoes and black flys didn't bother him! Walter was a kind, gentle person and a wonderful father and grandparent. He was beloved by many.
Walter's family has decided to have a private celebration of life and there will also be a gathering of his friends at Metropolitan Church. Cremation has taken place.