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May 2, 2023
Stewart John Ritchie passed away early May 2nd at home with his much loved family and dog at his side. Stew or Dad or Papa was the heartbeat of our family and at only 64 years of age he was taken from us far too soon, he just had so much more to do!
Stew was born in Vancouver to Bill and Maud and spent his early years with his 3 siblings in Burnaby before moving to Abbotsford in the 60s. Stew was a curious and spirited kid who developed a deep respect and love for animals at a young age. When he moved to the countryside Stew was promised a dog of his own, he has been a proud dog daddy ever since.
While living in rural Abbotsford and under the influence of his father, a hands on leader in animal feed industry, Stew tried his own hand at raising every kind of farm animal that his parents allowed. Stew delved into the welfare and nutrition aspect of animal husbandry in his teens raising beef cattle, pigs, sheep and chickens. This of course set the stage for a career path that he would follow for the rest of his life.
Stew met his wife Sandra in high school, she was a cheerleader and he was a basketball player. They spent 48 exciting years together. During this time Stew completed his B Ag Science at UBC ('80) and Master's Degree in Animal Science at the University of Arkansas ('82) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine ('87) at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.
After a year of travel with Sandra throughout Europe, India, Nepal, South East Asia, China and Australia, Stew returned to his hometown of Abbotsford to join his mentor Dr. Doug McCausland in his veterinary practice focusing on poultry and swine.
Stew eventually bought Doug's practice and founded Canadian Poultry Consultants Ltd. Over the next 30 plus years Stew became a leader in his field establishing a poultry veterinary consultant practice, followed by a research farm with a focus on improving broiler health and performance. He was passionate about collaboration with his wide network of esteemed peers and created platforms for other experts in the fields of poultry diseases to meet and share their research expertise.
Stew travelled the world as a consultant in poultry disease management/ prevention and served as an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia and the University of Arkansas. Stew also served as a board member and President of the American Association of Avian Pathologists. In recent years Stew has focused on farming sustainability in broiler production and conveying the essentials of broiler farming to existing and new farmers with his Platinum Brooding Program.
Stew was absolutely committed and passionate about keeping poultry welfare and efficient poultry farm management at the highest possible standard in BC, no excuses. The industry has lost a leader.
Throughout the busy career years Stew was also a dedicated family man, Dad to Samantha(George), Amelia (AJ), Tyler and Liam and Papa to Bradley, Wren, Eldon and Oliver. Stew shared with his kids his passion for travel, fishing, home grown food, the Canucks and boating on Mara Lake. The dinner table brought family and friends together with good food, fine wine and lively conversation (and chirping of course) Throughout their lives Sam, Amelia, Ty and Liam accompanied their dad on his international business travels but the favourite trip of all was to Ireland where Stew's parents first met.
Stew was legend for his humour, wit, intelligence and generosity. In addition to his aforementioned family Stew will be be greatly missed by his siblings Laurna Ritchie and Scott (Tracey) Ritchie, brothers-in-laws Brian (Sheryl) Loughlin, Barry (Benita) Loughlin, Sister-in-law Susan Loughlin, nieces and nephews Cameron, Brittany, Justin, Alex, Matthew, Dean, Ryan, Brock, Jamie, Spencer, Camilla and Carlene.
Stew was predeceased by his mother Maud, father Bill, and brother Gord.
Finally we would like to that the BC Cancer Agency and the Palliative Care team who provided both Stew and his family with such wonderful care during such difficult times. We are forever grateful for your support.
Stew, you are at home, please rest...until we meet again.

Details regarding Stew's celebration of life will be shared at on Henderson's Fraser Valley Funeral Home's website where you will also be able to share condolences and memories with the Ritchie family.