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Richard Michael Ridgell Obituary

Richard Michael Ridgell, 52, was a passionate protector, both in his security work and in the way he treated his daughters during game-day trips to M&T Field to root for his beloved Baltimore Ravens.

"He was all about protecting us," said daughter Megan outside her mother's Westminster home. She remembered her father guardedly eyeing other spectators as they climbed to their upper-tier seats, making sure she was safe in the roaring crowd.

Ridgell, a former Maryland State Police trooper, was working for a private security contractor at the Washington Navy Yard. Family members said they didn't know details about Ridgell's death.

His children and estranged wife, Tracey, say they want him remembered as a loving, funny and patriotic man who found satisfaction as a security contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan; as a drummer in the all-volunteer Baltimore Colts Marching Band before the Ravens era; and as a successful softball coach to all three daughters, Heather, 33, Megan, 19, and Maddi, 17.

"He was so much more than a shooting victim. He was an amazing person," Megan said.

Ridgell, a native of Brooklyn Park, near Baltimore, was a state trooper from 1983 to 2000, when he resigned at the rank of corporal, spokesman Sgt. Marc Black said.

He did contract security work overseas, according to family members and information Ridgell provided to the rental agent at a Westminster apartment complex where he lived after separating from his wife about two years ago.

The rental agent, Casey Perryman, said Ridgell's love for his children and his country was apparent.

"I think it's just a tragedy that he lost his life doing something he enjoyed so much," she said. "He was all about serving and protecting the people of the United States."


Associated Press writers Amanda Kell, Ben Nuckols, Allen G. Breed, Emery P. Dalesio, Stacy A. Anderson, David Dishneau, Randall Chase and Jessica Gresko contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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