It is with heartfelt grief that we share the news of the sudden passing of Veronica (MacDonald) Ritcey, who left this world on September 20, 2023 after a brief battle with cancer.
Veronica, ever organised and caring to the end, had prepared a few words to share with you all. She wanted you to be assured that life was great. She had fun as a child, growing up in Nova Scotia, swimming, playing ball, sailing, camping, skating, tobogganing and going to school. Veronica found college liberating, the first time she was permitted to make all her own choices (until summer vacations then it was back to Home rules). Veronica married the love of her life, Ed Ritcey, at the age of 21, and married life was a growing experience, learning who she was, how strong she was, what it was like to be a wife, then mother. In Ed, Veronica found a constant friend, love, and her fiercest supporter. As a couple, there was nothing they could not accomplish together because of their strong commitment to each other. Their 51 years together were a blessing of love. When Veronica looked back at the life she built with her boys (Ed and Rob), she would have done it all again in a snap, even the hard times, that is what love is all about. She loved the feeling of being a proud wife and mother, standing there and cheering them on, encouraging them, congratulating them. Veronica was always so supportive and expressed awe as to how her son has managed his life. She was so impressed with his little family, Chantal, Aidan, Lillith and Seamus. The kids all have little bits of Robbie in them which she could see when we were together, as they inevitably did almost every summer as the children grew up.
Veronica was fiercely devoted to her family, and although the miles may have separated her from her siblings, she enjoyed all the times they had getting together for our girls’ get-aways and the celebrating of weddings and other milestones.
When Ed and Veronica retired to Campbell River in 2002, Veronica was quick to put down roots within the community, joining (and eventually leading) their Red Hat chapter. Her community involvement led her to develop deeply meaningful relationships, and find sisters there for her, right in her new community. The bonds of friendship at this stage of life is the best medicine anyone could receive. The effect it has on feeling alive because you have something to do, somewhere to go and most of all people to be with. This is a gift for later life. A special loving relationship.
One such friend was Sue, (whom Veronica lovingly referred to as “my sister from another mother”), kindred spirit, angel. Veronica wanted you to know that you were a special gift that God put in her path. You both spent many hours navigating life’s problems, finding solutions and enjoying a glass of wine (or two!) in the process. There could be no better friend who became family to Veronica and Ed so easily. Sue was such an important part of Veronica’s life, and she hoped she was able to give back the love and support you gave to her.
Veronica is survived by her loving husband of 51 years, Ed; her son Robert (Chantal); grandchildren Aidan, Lillith, and Seamus; and her siblings, Dini (Vince) Gallant, Calgary; Winnie (Ron) Richards, Sydney; Bruce (Jean) MacDonald, Sydney; Annette (Charles) Moar, Port Hawkesbury; Marina (Dale) Fuller, Medicine Hat, AB; Heather (Tori) Engum, Penticton, BC; Corinne (Darrell) Beaton, Fall River, Ken (Tammy) MacDonald, Calgary, AB. She was predeceased by her beloved son James, and her parents Bruce and Hilda MacDonald.
“All in all, my life has been a blessing. I have not missed out in anything. I have done the important things according to my bucket list and have no regrets. So, saying Good-bye is not sad, because the important things I did, and I cherish all the moments, experiences and most of all the people.
James, I remember the sparkle in your blue eyes
the happiness in your smile,
the warmth in the touch of your little hand in mine.
Memories etched in my heart for all this time… mommy is coming home.”