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Joseph H. Ridgik


1932 - 2019
Joseph H. Ridgik Obituary
Joseph H. Ridgik

- - Born April 12, 1932 in Chester, PA, son of Peter and Verna Ridgik, Dr. Joseph Ridgik passed away on June 26, 2019 and is survived by his wife, Mary Lou, his five children, Donna, Karen, Mark, Lisa and Denise, fifteen grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.

Dr. Joseph Ridgik graduated from St James Catholic Boys High School; La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA; and received his medical degree (D.O.) from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1960. He interned at Doctor's Hospital, Columbus, OH and residency and training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Riverside Hospital in 1961-1962 and hospitals of PCOM 1962-1964.

It was in his fourth year of medical school that he married the only woman he ever loved, Mary Lou Polinski, acquaintances through grade school and High School, but due to a 5 year age difference, it wasn't until his wife to be was in nursing school that friendship grew into a love that would thrive through 60 years of marriage. Dr. Ridgik often said that he fell more deeply in love with Mary Lou as the years went by - even more than when they were first married. Prior to their marriage, Dr. Ridgik served from 1955-57 as a hospital (corpsman) with the Fleet Marines, a service which was a great source of pride to him.

After their marriage and completion of his residency training, the young family lived for 5 years in Stratford, NJ while Dr. Ridgik's practice grew rapidly. For 5 years he was in solo practice to the point of being the busiest OB/GYN at J.F. Kennedy Hospital, delivering an average of 500 babies/year prior to gaining a partner and over the next several years, headed what would eventually become a 5 man group, the largest in South Jersey. Along with delivering babies, Dr. Ridgik performed an equal number of pelvic surgeries, taught medical students in the classroom, clinics and bedside, both in Philadelphia and his base hospital of J.F. Kennedy. Dr. Ridgik was a prolific writer of OB/GYN articles, two of which are in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., and regular lecture/presenter at medical meetings and conventions throughout the country.

Dr. Ridgik and his first medical partner were on the cutting edge of many technical breakthroughs, conducting some of the first work in obstetrical ultrasound, colposcopy, laser and cryosurgery, laparoscopic surgery and other procedures. At J.F. Kennedy Hospital, Dr. Ridgik served on virtually every committee and was Chief of Staff in 1974. One of his great prides was to be voted teacher of the year twice by the medical students in Philadelphia and New Jersey and achieving the position of Clinical Assistant professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Stratford, NJ.

Over the course of several years the Ridgiks grew into a family with four daughters and a son, which provided great joy and pride. The family gradually expanded to 15 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

Four great loves filled Dr. Ridgik's life - his wife, his family, his catholic faith, and his country. As the years passed, Joe and Mary Lou travelled extensively visiting 30 countries and sailed on 10 oceans and seas. Dr. Ridgik was an avid reader, photographer and artist. He greatly enjoyed a variety of music from country, the "Oldies" and classics.

Dr. Ridgik had a great love and pride in watching his children and their children grow into a close knit family that remained close to each other as they grew older. Every grandchild received a Bachelors Degree, with at least 3 achieving Masters level and two currently pursuing their medical career.

At the age of 86, Dr. Ridgik authored two books. The first based on medical humor and the second a compilation of more than 200 quotes, sayings and thoughts on how to live a life of happiness and fulfillment entitled, A Doctor's Prescription for a Life of Joy, Love and Peace.
Published in Courier-Post on July 1, 2019
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