SOUTH CHATHAM—David Ridley passed away suddenly on September 15th. He was born in Dighton on May 18, 1947 to Leonard and Ellen (Guite) Ridley and enjoyed a wide network of family and friends from Massachusetts to Florida and the West Coast.
David was a born fisherman, descended from Captain Mark Ridley and other mariners who arrived on the Cape in the 1600’s. From an early age he would disappear with his fishing gear in the morning and not reappear until after dusk. He spent nearly sixty years fishing out on Nantucket Sound, as well as ponds and lakes across the Cape. A good day for him was having lines in the water, friends aboard, and an incoming tide. He enjoyed taking kids out to reel in their first fish and made regular rounds to generously share his catch with friends and family.
David's mastery of fishing was matched by his ability to make lasting friendships. Among his many friends are high school classmates and Air Force buddies he remained close with for fifty years. While serving four years in North Dakota as a systems specialist on Minuteman missiles, David drove his blue Mustang Mach I on well-remembered cross-country trips. After leaving the Air Force, he took a job as a plant engineer for Bay State Gas (with work scheduled around fishing) and retired at age 55.
David was predeceased by his parents and leaves his brother Scott Ridley and sister-in-law Carole Ridley of East Harwich and four nephews: Graham, Evan, Colin and Trevor Ridley. He also leaves his longtime companion, Bette Paska of South Chatham and Summerfield, Florida, and his nephew Graham’s children, Tighe and Maeve Ridley, and their mother Mandy Gerry of Northampton. Among his many cousins, he leaves his “little brother” Norman Guite and wife Denise, Jeffrey Guite, Nancy (Guite) Lemish, and his uncle Sheldon Guite. He also leaves his aunt Alice (Ridley) Waterman and Waterman cousins, his cousin Dorothy (Ridley) Chisholm and Paul, Dave and Katie Chisholm, and numerous other relatives.
David’s ready smile and generous spirit will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
A celebration of David’s life will be held at the Chatham VFW on Saturday, October 7th at 11 a.m. His ashes will be spread at sea on a later date. Donations in his memory can be made to the Chatham VFW Building Fund, a cause for which he worked countless hours: Chatham VFW/ 150 George Ryder Road/ Chatham, MA / 02633.