December 10 1923 November 23 2022
BUXTON- Philip Ludger Ridley, 98, died peacefully on November 23, 2022, surrounded by his loving family. He was born December 10, 1923, in Westbrook, Maine. A self-described “city-boy,” Phil was always eager to speak “Westbrook- French” and share stories about his childhood playing on Main Street and fishing along the banks of the Presumpscot River. Growing up one of six children during the Great Depression, Phil learned early on the value of hard work and sacrifice in order to take care of his family- values that remained paramount until his final day. At the age of 17, Phil enlisted in the Navy and was quickly shipped to the South Pacific where he served on the USS Makin Island CVE-93 aircraft carrier during the height of World War II. Although Phil retired from the Navy at the end of the war, he remained a sailor at heart for the rest of his life. A vivid storyteller, Phil enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to share his memories of battles and brotherhood in the Pacific, along with salty “sailor slang,” with his family and friends. After returning home, Phil’s adventures shifted from the sea to the land. After winning a swing dance competition together at the Westbrook American Legion, Phil found his forever partner, a country-girl from Buxton, Beverly. She brought him to the country and taught him how to drive a car, milk a cow, and appreciate the beauty of a hayfield at dusk. Over the next 73 years, they ran a dairy farm, worked in the hay fields, and took in any animal who needed a home. Throughout his life, Phil honed his skills as a craftsman and artist. A self-taught builder, he meticulously designed and built his family’s home after a fire, created unique furniture pieces for his children, and refurbished antique collectibles. Once he retired from S.D. Warren after 47 years of service, Phil’s ideal day consisted of building in his workshop, tending to Beverly’s gardens, riding his Kubota tractors across the family’s fields where his children built their homes, and, of course, a trip to Dunkin Donuts on Main Street in Westbrook to reminisce about the old days. Family was at the center of Phil’s world. He was a devoted son, brother, uncle, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Over the years, his house was always the gathering place for holidays, parties, and Sundays on the sunporch. Start spinning a Glen Miller album and Phil could not resist swinging any of his loved ones across the floor. Equally important to Phil was that all his children and grandchildren had well-built homes of their own; he was eager to lend his time, skills, and knowledge to any project. If Phil built it, it would last! In his later years, Phil’s continued independence and vitality amazed all that knew him. He maintained a spry sense of humor, reading the obituaries in the daily paper to “make sure he wasn’t in there.” When asked how he was doing, “well, I’m still alive!” was his signature response. Phil is predeceased by his mother, Alice, and brothers, Roger “Pat,” Paul, sisters, Loretta, Ruth, and Thereasa, and wife Beverly. Phil is survived by his daughter Suzanne and husband Donald, son Philip and wife Pamela, daughter Jacqueline and husband Antony, grandchildren Joshua, Meghann, Molly, Kristopher and wife Amanda, and great-grandchild Kayden. In accordance with Phil’s wishes, there will be a celebration of life at a later date.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Philip Ludger Ridley December 10 1923 November 23 2022.
Death notice for the town of: Gorham, state: Maine