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Margaret Elizabeth (Hall) Ridge

Margaret Elizabeth (Hall) Ridge, 95, wife of the late Charles Kennedy Ridge formerly of Spring Street, Essex, died on January 2, 2015, at Putnam Farm, Danvers, following her brief illness.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, December 7, 1919, she was the daughter of late Norwood Appleton and Dorothy Littell Hall. Raised in Newark, a graduate of Barringer High School in Newark, she went on to receive her B.S. in Chemistry from The College of Wooster  in Ohio, and her M.S. in Chemistry from Western Reserve University in Ohio.

During World War II, she was a research chemist at Heyden Chemical Company in New Jersey. She married Charles Kennedy Ridge on January 19, 1946 just after he returned from his Army tour of duty in Asia. In Verona and Upper Montclair, New Jersey they raised four children, Betsy, Martha, Bill, and Sarah. She was employed as the treasurer of Electro-Lift, Inc., a design and sales firm for custom built hoists, until retiring to Essex in 1989.

Margaret was passionate about making college opportunities available to deserving young women. For decades she headed the annual College Women’s Club of Montclair book sale which has raised over a million dollars for scholarships. She is a former president of the Women’s Club of Upper Montclair and served in leadership roles in numerous organizations including Daughters of the American Revolution, National Society of New England Women, Greenhill Senior Living Community in New Jersey, The First Presbyterian Church of Verona, Upper Montclair Presbyterian Church, and First Congregational Church of Essex. For some forty years Margaret was active in girl scouting, both as a scout and as a leader.

She loved the water, from synchronized swimming in college, competitive sailing in the International Snipe Class, to cruising along the entire New England coastline. She was a member of the Lake Mohawk New Jersey, Manchester, Annisquam, and Conomo Point Yacht Clubs.

Margaret  is survived by her three children, Betsy Ridge Madsen and her husband Peter of Essex, William Henry Ridge and his wife Donalda of Philomont, VA and Sarah Ridge Cushing and her husband John of Essex; nine grandchildren, Sally Rothschild Madsen, Deane Alger Madsen, Joanna Madsen Kirtley, Jeffrey Lord Lane, Ellen Irene Lane, Margaret Warren Buchanan “Maggie” Ridge, Isobel Ann Ridge “Abby”  Anderson, Charles  MacEachern “Mac” Ridge and Samuel Appleton Cushing, and four great grandchildren, Lilly Ann and Oliver Jack Lane, Tom Madsen Rothchild, and Chloe Chun-Lei Madsen. In addition to her husband she was predeceased by her daughter Martha Ridge Lane formerly of Essex.       

A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church in Essex on Sunday, January 18, at 2:30pm. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Scholarship Fund of the American Association of University Women, P.O. Box 98045, Washington, D.C. 20090 or online at aauw.org.

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