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RIDDELL, Jessica (Jess)
Passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, but peacefully, on June 13, 2012 at the age of 87 at the Wakefield Hospital, a short drive from the cottage home which she greatly cherished, and where she had spent her final day. Beloved and devoted wife of Gordon Riddell for 64 years; beloved mother of David Riddell (deceased), Ros Macdonald and Alan Riddell, and much loved grandmother of Isabel Macdonald and Rachel Macdonald. She is survived by her brother, Richard Lambert. Jess was born in Chelsfield, England on September 17, 1924 and moved to Canada at the age of 13. She attended Barnard College in New York and then received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Toronto (Trinity College). Jess and Gordon enjoyed a long and exciting career together in the Canadian Foreign Service, serving in Athens, London, Cairo, Senegal and Thailand. On each of these foreign postings, Jess played an indispensable role in assisting Gordon's diplomatic work. She took a keen interest in learning about the local geography, history and culture of those countries and in volunteer work to assist those in need, including most notably the creation, and running, of a medical dispensary for people devoid of proper medical care. After retirement she obtained her M.A. in Counselling from St. Paul's University and then established a small and successful counselling practice, from which she derived great satisfaction and purpose. During this period she also became passionately interested in the work of C.G. Jung, and in the interpretation of dreams as a means to achieve self-understanding. She was firmly committed to what Jung described as the inner journey towards individuation and greater consciousness. For many years, she was an active member of the C. G. Jung Society of Ottawa and founded and ran its library. She was devoted to caring for her family and for her beloved cottage home at Lac St Pierre de Wakefield. Jess threw herself ardently and whole-heartedly into improving and beautifying her cottage home, which she and Gordon constructed 50 years ago, on a beautiful point of land jutting into the lake. She loved to landscape, and to build stone and log terraces, which will long survive her passing. For the past 50 years she laboured enthusiastically to turn that cottage, and its surrounding woodland, into a spiritual haven for her family. It was there, in the place which she most loved, that she happily spent the last few weeks of her life. Friends are invited to visit at the St. Laurent Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 1200 Ogilvie Road (Aviation Parkway), on Friday, June 29th from 12 noon to 2 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A service to celebrate her life will be held in the Chapel on Saturday, June 30th at 2 p.m.

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Published in Ottawa Citizen from Jun. 23 to Jun. 27, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
June 27, 2012
To the Riddell family,

Our deepest sympathies for your loss. This is a sad time, but we know that the strength she passed on to all of you will allow you to cherish the happy memories and celebrate her wonderful life.
Colleen Temple and Darrell Mast
June 27, 2012
Dear Gordon, Alan and Ros,
Our heartfelt condolences for your loss and may Jessica rest in peace. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
May her memory be eternal.
With our love and deepest sympathy,
Bill, Sue and Jessica Ayyad
Bill Ayyad
June 26, 2012
Dear Riddell family,
So sorry to hear your dear loved one has passed on. Take comfort in this difficult time that she will always be with you in your heart and memories.
Neil McFadyen
June 25, 2012
Gordon, Alan and Ros,

I met or spoke with Jessica but a few times, but every time I did, I felt connected and special. She had a unique and delightful way of making you feel as if you were important to her. She was indeed, a very special lady.

A lasting tribute to any parent is their children and how they have grown and live their lives. Gordon and Jessica have indeed earned a wonderful tribute to their lives, love and beliefs.

My sincere sympathies.

Cathy Davis
Catherine Davis
June 23, 2012
Dear Gordon and family,

Linda and I were surprised and saddened to learn of Jess' sudden death. Please accept our most sincere sympathy and condolences. It was 46 years ago that we first met in DL (1) of External Affairs, where you instructed me in the finer details of diplomacy and bureaucracy. You were our Ambassador in Dakar for the second year of our posting and it was great. Your youngest son Alan was with you in Dakar. Jess was a most gracious hostess and made the youngsters on the staff feel right at home. We sailed on your "requin" and covered five countries of accreditation. I participated in my first presentation of credentials when you presented yours to President Senghor in Dakar. And we had a travelling exposition "Visages du Canada" to introduce Canada to francophone Africa. More recently we have seen you at lunches of the Retired Heads of Mission Association and other functions.
Our thoughts an prayers are with you at this difficult time.
John and Linda Noble
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