Cecil Ritchie passed away peacefully on January 8, 2005 in Burnaby at the age of 87.
Cecil was born May 3, 1917 in Ontario and grew up in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. While serving in the army in England during WWII he met and married Louisa Barker. After the war they returned to Minnedosa, Manitoba where their five children were born. They moved to Quesnel in 1957. Cecil worked at the plywood plant for 22 years as night watchman until his retirement.
At an early age Cecil learned to trap and continued trapping into his early 80’s.
He enjoyed Robert Service and knew many of his poems by heart. Cecil was a gifted poet himself as evidenced by the poem included here which won him an award from the Poetry Institute of Canada.
A State of Mind
To those who seek their happiness through worldly good and gain,
And struggle on their whole lives through, such targets to attain.
If you study other people, I think that you will find,
That peace and love and happiness are just a state of mind.
See that local wino, doing back flips on the street,
He don’t have any extra shoes to place upon his feet.
His living cares don’t bother him, he has no axe to grind,
He laughs his way through life each day, a happy state of mind.
See that wealthy businessman, if you don’t pay, he’ll sue,
He only drinks good whiskey, but he has ulcers too.
Such things as smiles and chuckles, are strangers to his kind,
Happiness is just a state of mind.
If you were to choose a paradise, whatever would it be,
What may be just right for you, would be no good for me.
The answer is quite obvious for anyone to find,
We all must have a happy and united state of mind.
By C.J. Ritchie
A few years ago he moved to the George Derby Centre in Burnaby.
He was predeceased by his wife, Louisa and his daughter Barbara. He is survived by his daughters, Brenda, Betty and June (Dwayne) and his son Martin (Shirley) as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren.