Helen RIDDELL

Obituary

RIDDELL, Helen Joan Age 89. Halifax. Passed away peacefully on Monday, October 28, 2002 at Glades Lodge. Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the daughter of Dr. Edward William Archibald and Agnes Barron (Mam). Predeceased by her husband, Dr. John Evans Riddell, her son Michael J., granddaughter Siobhan, and sisters Margaret (Billy) Archibald and Nancy (Mac) Joeck. She grew up in Montreal and attended Trafalgar Girls School. She was always a capable athlete and claimed many provincial and national titles in fencing. She was the first female Canadian Olympic fencer and represented Canada in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as a member of the National Fencing Team. She went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, where she specialized in violin. After getting her music degree, she performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in the position of second violin. In 1939 she married John, her life-long companion. Over the next 58 years they lived in many different regions of eastern and central Canada. During this time as mother and wife, Joan continued her interest in music and horses. She was an accomplished rider and became a senior judge for the Canadian Equestrian Federation. She also started breeding dogs and horses, producing several champion horses. She took up painting and was always a great gardener. Sailing was a big part of her life with John: She was his first mate on the Flamingo, a catamaran which they sailed across the English Channel to Oostend and Calais before sailing around southern England. They also sailed as a team for many years in the Halifax and Nova Scotian South Shore areas on the wooden yawl, Skylark. Joan lived a fascinating and varied life, and whe will be sorely missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her sister Griselda (Bubby) Christmas (Victoria, B.C.) and her children John A. (Molly) of Sudbury, Ontario, Joanna (Bill) of San Francisco, Edward (Julie) of Sydney, Australia, Christie (Dan) of Rawdon, NS, daughter-in-law Ann, of Halifax, her grandchildren, Toni, Sami, Ben, Tara, Tobi, Mark, Tammy, Angus and Christopher, and her great-grandchildren, Camisha, Matti and Hannah. Joan has been cremated, and a joint Memorial Service for Joan and John is being planned for the Spring of 2003. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joan's name to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. On line condolences can be sent to: [email protected]

Published in The Ottawa Citizen on Dec. 14, 2002
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