Robert Ringma

Obituary
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  • "Sorry to hear of General Bob's passing, My father, Vice..."
  • "Rest in peace Uncle Bob. Leanne Ringma"
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Robert Ringma 30 June 1928 - 31 March 2014 Robert Ringma died March 31, 2014. Born at home in Richmond B.C. (Lulu Island) on 30 June 1928, second son of Eva and Richard (Ritske) Ringma. Predeceased by his wife of 59 years Paula Frances Ringma (nee MacDowell), survived by daughters Katherine Davie (Phil Dupuis), Julia Ringma (Peter Reichert), Norah Ringma (Gord Tomlinson) and grandchildren Will Davie and Liz Davie.

Bob attended Renfrew Public, Britannia High and UBC (non-graduate.) He joined the Canadian Officers Training Corps at UBC in 1946. To raise tuition, he drove taxi for Sasamat Cabs. He joined 25 CIBG in 1950 for service in Korea 1951/52. His job with the brigade was to run the Mobile Laundry and Bath Unit, which captured the brigade's first POWs. He later published M*L*B*U - Full Monty in Korea in recollection of his adventure overseas.

After marrying his love, Paula, in 1954, he was posted to Rivers, Manitoba. Lacking points for a married quarter, they started their married life sharing the United Church manse with the Reverend Fred McNally who became a lifelong friend. Bob attended the Canadian Army Staff College and later, the National Defence College. He was the military coordinator for the Queen's visit to Quebec in 1964, during which he had a private audience with the Queen and Prince Philip on board HMY Britannia. He also made arrangements for the 1965 visit to Quebec of the Shah of Iran.

Bob enjoyed being on exchange duty with the U.S. Army in Virginia, commanding a service battalion in Quebec during the FLQ crisis of 1971, and serving in Vietnam in 1973. Following a tour in Belgium as the Canadian Military Representative to the Supreme HQ Allied Powers in Europe, he spent his last eight years of service as a bureaucrat and as the Logistics Branch Adviser at Canadian Forces HQ in Ottawa. He ended his career in the rank of major general.

Dissatisfaction with the political scene in Canada caused him to join the Reform Party and to contest the 1993 election, winning the seat for Nanaimo Cowichan. "Political correctness" gave him fifteen days of fame in 1996. For family reasons he retired from politics in 1997.

Bob's family would like to thank the staff of 2 East and the Palliative Care team at Brockville General Hospital, Dr. M. Ruparelia, Kate Morris, and Dr. W. Audet for their exceptional care and kindness. Funeral arrangements are private, for immediate family only. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Palliative Care Memorials of the Brockville and District Hospital Foundation, 75 Charles Street, Brockville, K6V 1S8, would be appreciated.


Published in The Ottawa Citizen on Apr. 5, 2014
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