Passed away peacefully on March 3, 2012 at the age of 91 in Ontario of Alzheimer’s. His sister, daughter and son were with him offering comfort.
He was predeceased by his wife Marion Ritchie (Haryett) last year and will be lovingly remembered by his sister Marguerite Ritchie (Ottawa); daughter, Lynn Kongkham (Newmarket, ON); and son, Lance (Anita) Ritchie (Moncton, NB). In addition he is survived by four grandsons: Kyle Ritchie, Karl Kongkham, Paul (Dini) Kongkham and Neal Kongkham; and two great-granddaughters: Natalie and Naomi Kongkham.
Bob joined the RCAF as a pilot in 1943 after learning to fly in a Tigermoth biplane. A World War II veteran, he remained until retiring in 1964 from CFB Greenwood in command of the Argus. During his career in the RCAF he flew numerous prop, jet and rotary wing aircraft, living through and contributing to the history of aviation in Canada. After the Air Force, Bob went on to a second career piloting charter flights and corporate aircraft for several large companies in Ontario, flying well into his 70’s.
Although his life was not without its ups and downs, Bob was lucky enough to spend it doing what he loved – flying. He was most proud of his membership in the “Mach Busters Club” having broken the sound barrier in 1957 and his Sikorsky Helicopter Rescue Award for having saved several lives while with 103 Search and Rescue Squadron.
Bob will be forever remembered for his professionalism, ingenuity and dry sense of humor.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 at 11:00 am at the Little Mountain Cemetery in Chilliwack.