BELLEVUE, Wash. - Ralph A. Riddell, formerly of Goffstown, N.H., passed away Sept. 24, 2013, after a number of years living with Parkinson's disease acquired from his exposure to Agent Orange while serving our country in Vietnam.
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He was born Feb. 27, 1939, in Meriden, Conn., the son of the late Paul and Mertis (Affleck) Riddell.
He is survived by his daughter, Christy Anne Hogan and her daughter Alisha Anne, and his son, Ralph Scott Riddell, both of Washington state. He is also survived by his sister, Carol Stoddard of Derry, N.H., his brother, Barry Riddell of Chester, N.H., and his brother, Paul Riddell, Jr. of Weare, N.H., several nieces and nephews and friends from all around the world.
Ralph joined the U.S. Air Force in 1958 and retired in 1978 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. During his service he received many awards, among them the Distinguished Flying Cross. He then attended Oregon State University, graduating in 1982. He worked in private industry while continuing his lifelong love of flying. He and his son, Scott, built an aerobatics airplane which they flew competitively racking up many victories.
In 2000 he finished his biography with the words "I have done everything I ever wanted to do, except walk on the moon. It has been an exciting life. If it should all end now, I believe that I have made the world a better place by being here." And he did.
Published in Union Leader on Sept. 30, 2013