Skip to content

January 14, 1945 - February 23, 2024

In Loving Memory ~

Ron Ritchie, 79, died on 23rd of February 2024 at Comox Valley Hospital after many years living with heart challenges.

He was the husband of Beth, née McWilliams, and they would have celebrated their 55th anniversary in June. Ron was born to Irv and Nellie Ritchie on 14th January 1945 in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia where his Naval officer father was stationed at HMCS Cornwallis.

He was predeceased by his parents of Victoria and his brother John of Port Alberni who died in 2013.

His father's naval career took the family to postings in Cornwallis, Halifax, Ottawa and Victoria. When his father retired the family moved to Germany from 1960 to 1964 - Soest and Baden-Sölligen; his father was principal of the high schools on the British and Canadian bases. It was an amazing experience for Ron as the family travelled all over Europe.

Ron was able to start his collection of 50s and 60s LPs purchasing them cheap at the PX and he enjoyed the parties at Teen Town. He was an amazing jiver until the last few years and was an enthusiastic expert on the Rock & Roll music of the era.

Ron attended Oak Bay Junior and Senior High Schools and graduated from Rhine Valley Park School in Baden-Sölligen. He went to UVIC, graduating with a BSc in Biology followed by teacher training.

While at university Ron was a UNTD officer cadet in the Naval Reserve at HMCS Malahat in Victoria. There he met Beth, also from Oak Bay High School, who was a Wren at HMCS Malahat and a fellow student at UVIC. They married in 1969 and went on an adventure to the East Kootenays teaching for a year in Sparwood, they were one-fifth of the teaching staff.

But this was way too far from the ocean and the Island they loved so they moved to the Comox Valley in 1970 to continue their teaching careers. Ron taught sciences and math at Robb Road, Highland and Vanier, retiring in 2002.

He remained an officer in the Naval Reserve where so many wonderful long-time friendships were made. Eventually he transitioned to Sea Cadets - he spent many years with RCSCC Port Augusta, as CO for a few years, and he also worked at HMCS Quadra in the summer months driving training ships and teaching navigation.

After he retired from high school teaching he joined Comox Valley Marine Rescue as a volunteer for 5 years and loved spending time on the water with the Mixed Reaction Dragonboat team. He continued his love of ships and the ocean starting with a first cruise in 2000 - eventually he and Beth travelled the world on Princess ships for 18 cruises, he loved every minute, especially "soaking up the rays" on a sunny deck.

His dancing expertise won many jiving contests on the ships and he also surprised many with his ability to keep a hula hoop spinning in onboard contests winning many bottles of champagne!

In retirement he became a keen member of the Old Teacher Guys Walkers - a weekday walk at the airpark and coffee after with the guys always started his days. He cherished those wonderful friendships - and the hockey pools! - for 20 years. Thank you so much for your friendship, guys.

Ron was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, relative, friend and all-round good guy. He had a marvellous sense of humour and his smile lit up the room. We will all cherish our wonderful memories of him.

Ron is survived by his loving wife, Beth; son Ian Ritchie, wife Anne and grandson Taylen in Burnaby and daughter Kirsten Clarke and husband Steve in Guelph. He is also survived by Beth's sisters Alison Roe and Stephanie McWilliams of Vancouver, Heather Oliveras of Portland and brother Scott McWilliams of Victoria and their families.

Celebration of Life will be held at Piercy's Funeral Home, 440 England Ave., Courtenay, on Saturday, 6th of April and 2:00 pm. If desired memorial donations may be made to the Comox Valley Hospital Foundation or to a charity of your choice.

 Piercy's-Mt. Washington Funeral Home

Service Details

Celebration of Life
Saturday, April 6, 2024
2:00 PM
Piercy's Funeral Home, 440 England Ave., Courtenay