Margaret Elizabeth (Hall) Ridge, 95, wife of the late Charles
Kennedy Ridge formerly of Spring Street, Essex, died on January
2, 2015, at Putnam Farm, Danvers, following her brief illness.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, December 7, 1919, she was the
daughter of late Norwood Appleton and Dorothy
Littell Hall. Raised in Newark, a
graduate of Barringer High School in
Newark, she went on to receive her B.S. in Chemistry from The
College of Wooster in Ohio, and her M.S. in Chemistry from
Western Reserve University in Ohio.
During World War II, she was a research chemist at
Heyden Chemical Company in New
Jersey. She married Charles Kennedy Ridge on January 19, 1946
just after he returned from his Army tour of duty in Asia. In
Verona and Upper Montclair, New Jersey they raised four
children, Betsy, Martha, Bill, and Sarah. She was employed as
the treasurer of Electro-Lift, Inc., a design and sales firm for
custom built hoists, until retiring to Essex in 1989.
Margaret was passionate about making college opportunities
available to deserving young women. For decades she headed the
annual College Women’s Club of Montclair book sale which has
raised over a million dollars for scholarships. She is a former
president of the Women’s Club of Upper Montclair and served in
leadership roles in numerous organizations including Daughters
of the American Revolution, National Society of New England
Women, Greenhill Senior Living Community in New Jersey, The
First Presbyterian Church of Verona, Upper Montclair
Presbyterian Church, and First Congregational Church of Essex.
For some forty years Margaret was active in girl scouting, both
as a scout and as a leader.
She loved the water, from synchronized swimming in college,
competitive sailing in the International Snipe Class, to
cruising along the entire New England coastline. She was a
member of the Lake Mohawk New Jersey, Manchester,
Conomo Point Yacht Clubs.
Margaret is survived by her three children, Betsy Ridge Madsen
and her husband Peter of Essex, William Henry Ridge and his wife
Philomont, VA and Sarah Ridge Cushing and her husband
John of Essex; nine grandchildren, Sally Rothschild Madsen,
Deane Alger Madsen, Joanna Madsen Kirtley,
Jeffrey Lord Lane, Ellen Irene Lane, Margaret Warren Buchanan
Ridge, Isobel Ann Ridge
Anderson, Charles MacEachern
Ridge and Samuel Appleton Cushing, and four great grandchildren,
Lilly Ann and Oliver Jack Lane, Tom Madsen
Rothchild, and Chloe Chun-Lei Madsen. In addition to her
husband she was predeceased by her daughter Martha Ridge Lane
formerly of Essex.
A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational
Church in Essex on Sunday, January 18, at 2:30pm. Family and
friends are respectfully welcomed. In lieu of flowers, memorial
contributions in her name may be made to the Scholarship Fund of
the American Association of University Women, P.O. Box 98045,
Washington, D.C. 20090 or online at