RITCHIE, Stephen Charles
(April 16, 1947 – May 17, 2010)
Passed away unexpectedly at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria at the age of 63. Stephen is survived by his wife of 38 years, Bonnie, his daughters Cara and Leanne (James Vassallo), his parents Hugh and Joan, brother John (Maureen), sister Susan Jackson (Ron) and numerous nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones.
Stephen was a long-time teacher in Port Alberni, who spent much of his career at Maquinna Elementary. He was a photographer, sailor, master bridge player, fisherman, avid gardener, explorer and storyteller and he brought these passions to his work in the classroom, inspiring students to learn about the environment around them and respect each other by participating in sport and charity work. He loved life, gave of himself selflessly, and inspired us to laugh. In recent years he lived in Courtenay and spent his winters in Mexico with friends, exploring the beaches and taking roads less travelled. His charitable nature led him to the habit of carrying around pockets full of pesos to hand out to those without the luxury of a social safety net and to adopt a scraggly beach dog named Nina, who is now the picture of health. His charm, goodwill and good humour will be forever missed: we are all better for having known him; we are all lessened by his passing.
His many friends, colleagues and students are invited to a celebration of his life to be held at the Alberni Valley United Church (3747 Church Street) in Port Alberni, BC on Wednesday May 26, 2010 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those inclined honour Stephen with a donation to a group that supports children, such as the World Vision Animals program, or to a charity of their choice.