It is with great sadness that we report the death of Ralph W. Ridge, III. On Saturday, May 26th, Ralph W. Ridge, III, of Grosse Ile, MI., died of a heart attack while on the final lap of the Formula Vee race at at Grattan Raceway just outside of...
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Ralph W. Ridge, III.
On Saturday, May 26th, Ralph W. Ridge, III, of Grosse Ile, MI., died of a heart attack while on the final lap of the Formula Vee race at at Grattan Raceway just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The coroner described the cause of death as a massive heart attack. The heart attack occured prior to Ridge hitting the guardrail at turn 9 entering pit lane.
Ridge was a member of Waterford Hills Road Racing Association and Detroit Region, SCCA. He was a longtime competitor in Formula Vee. This past weekend, he entered the Double Regional at Grattan Raceway near Grand Rapids, Michigan after a successful battle with cancer.
Ridge was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 19, 1947. He had just turned 54. Ridge married his special lady, Martha, on May 5, 2001.
As a member of Detroit Region, I personally can speak of the many times that
Ralph Ridge went out of his way to help someone; to give everyone a reason
to smile; to remind us all of how much fun racing was; and to be there to
thank us at the end of the day. However, I will only mention one short
story: Waterford - SCCA Driver School - several years ago - I was at turn 5
on a very, wet day with a river forming on driver's left and a mud hole just
beyond when a Formula Vee (not Ridge) came sliding off driver's left into
the river and then the mud hole. Needless to say, I got the car with the
driver's help out of the mud hole before it sank too deeply. My rainsuit
was now covered with mud as was the rest of me. As I walked in for lunch,
Ralph was there to greet me with a bucket of soapy water and lots of towels
and a clean rain suit to use for the rest of the day. I met a very nice
gentleman that day!
"Ralph was one of the many people I see only at the races. Those outside the
sport would assume that because we competed against each other we were
adversaries. Racing people know that this isn't always the case. Ralph and
I shared many things; the thrills of close competition, great food (his),
parts(mine), generators, shade, his paddock lawn mower, and most importantly
the race track. He was the kind of driver who knew how to safely share the
road, you could count on him to leave you racing room, even on the last turn
of the last lap. He wanted to win, and also to have your respect."
- Tom Shaver, FV 01 - SCCA Central Division
Ralph Ridge will be missed by so many - workers, drivers, crew members, friends and family.
The SCCA and WHRRI communities have lost a dear friend. Gone but never forgotten.
Ridge was not only a racer; he was a respected businessman, a good friend and an active community member in Trenton and the "Downriver" communitites (area south of Detroit).
<pre> Funeral arrangements:
Viewing Wednesday, May 30 from noon to 9 pm
Ralph W. Ridge Funeral Home 2272 W. Jefferson Trenton, MI 48183 734-676-4544
Services Thursday, May 31 at 11 am; Viewing at 10 am
First Presbyterian Church 2799 West Road Trenton, MI
</pre> Donations in Ralph's memory may be made to HEADS c/o Ralph Ridge Funeral Home.
Cards for the family may be sent to Ralph Ridge III Family c/o the funeral home.
Motorsport.com extends our condolences to Martha Ridge, the Ridge Family, to the friends of Ralph Ridge III and to Detroit Region and Waterford Hills.