For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar 


Barry Allan Ridgewell


Lieutenant Commander, Clearance Diver, RCN / C.A.F.


Born: 03 Aug 1939          Died: 28 Jan 2019


RIDGEWELL, Barry Allan - It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a hard working father, good friend and dedicated husband. Barry passed away peacefully on January 28th in his 79th year. Barry was predeceased by his loving wife, Catherine Marda Ridgewell, and his parents, Gordon Peter Ridgewell and Virginia Evelyn Ridgewell. He is survived by his sons Scott (Suzy), Shaun (Michelle) and Mark (Sissy), as well as his grandchildren Dawson, Jade, Brendon, Nathan, and Jesse. In his early years, Barry was raised by his Uncle Art while his father was at war. Barry always spoke very fondly of his uncle and how Art did his best to guide and teach him. After the war and once again reunited with his family, Barry joined the Air Cadets and later the Air Force. He became a Draftsman for the AVRO military jet fighter being designed and built in Canada. In the early 60's, he was persuaded by friends in the Navy to join their ship and travel up the St. Lawrence River to Halifax, NS. It was during this trip that he found his true calling with the Canadian Navy and started a career as a Diver. He moved to Halifax with the Navy where he met his wife-to-be Catherine Marda Renner; they were married in 1965 and started a family. Scott was born in 1967, Shaun in 1969, and Mark in 1970. Barry flourished in the Navy and became very passionate about his career. Early on, Barry was a Navigator and Junior Officer on various HMC Ships; in the late 60's he became a Clearance Diving Officer. In the 70's, he grew more involved in the development of deep diving submersibles, was the acting Executive Officer on the HMCS Margaree, the Project Manager for the USN's MK 12 surface supported diving system and the Director of DCIEM's 5600ft Deep Diving Hyperbaric Facility (designed to be the deepest diving chamber in the world at the time). Between 1981 and 1984, Barry became the section head responsible for Submarines, Diving, Explosives Ordinances, Mine Counter-measures and Minor War Vessel equipment requirements. After years 20 years of working with the Navy, Barry retired, reaching the highest rank obtainable by a Diver, Lieutenant Commander. His love for the sea brought him and his family to British Columbia where he continued his passion. First working with Offshore Systems, where he was involved with developing precise navigation systems, remote control under water vehicles, sonar systems and mine sweeping technologies, and later with Vitron Systems, designing propulsion systems for remotely operated underwater vehicles. When Barry decided he had done enough in the business world, Barry and Marda traveled the world with friends and family, cruising and vacationing as often as possible. When back at home, he worked at the local Home Hardware to keep himself active. In 2009, Barry lost his Wife, Marda, to diabetes; shortly after that Alzheimer's began to appear and the slow deterioration of a remarkable man started. Barry loved Canada, the ocean, the mountains, his family and friends. He will be greatly missed. He is resting peacefully now back with his loving wife, Marda. A celebration of life is planned for the spring. No date has been chosen at this time. (The Delta Optimist 14 Mar 2019)


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