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A Final Farewell: Last Alarm for Secretary / Past President Timothy A. “Timmy” Ridgell

RIDGE, Md. - The members of the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department said farewell to one of our own Thursday.

Timothy A. “Timmy” Ridgell, who actively served the department for over 20 years as a firefighter, President, and Secretary, passed away suddenly on February 14, 2021. He was 63. Timmy was laid to rest on Thursday, February 25, 2021, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church Cemetery in Ridge, MD.

Family, friends, and fellow Ridge VFD members, along with Fire Departments, Police, and Public Safety personnel from across St. Mary’s County and Naval District Washington, took part in a Firefighter’s funeral for Timmy. Following the Mass of Christian burial held inside St. Michael’s Catholic Church, pallbearers Captain Allen Raley (RVFD), Deputy Fire Chief Bradley Cooper (RVFD), Firefighter Leroy Owens (RVFD), Corporal Billy Bodnar (Caroline County Sheriff’s Office), Danny Langley, Julian Schwab, President Bill Mattingly (Hollywood VFD), and Treasurer Steve Facini (Hollywood VFD) loaded the casket onto Engine 41 for the final ride. The funeral procession passed by the Ridge firehouse, where the bay doors closed one last time for Timmy.

At the cemetery, honorary pallbearers Gary Ridgell, Ralph Ridgell, Barry Mattingly, Jimmy Fairfax, John ‘Bubba’ Chapman, members of the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, and members of the Ridge VFD Auxiliary marched in escort behind the RVFD Department Flag (Treasurer Johnny Wathen) and the Color Guard (Hollywood VFD) to the gravesite. Engine 41 and immediate family followed. At the graveside, following prayers, RVFD President Ron Hafner, Fire Chief Brian Cooper, and Assistant Fire Chief John Keister presented the family with memorials and gifts. Ridge VFD pager tones sounded, and St. Mary’s County dispatchers issued one Last Alarm for Timmy over the fire radio system…

“ST. MARY’S COUNTY FIREBOARD IS SOUNDING THE LAST ALARM FOR TIMOTHY A. RIDGELL SENIOR MEMBER, PAST PRESIDENT 2010 TO 2013 AND SECRETARY 2020 TO 2021. SECRETARY RIDGELL HAS COMPLETED HIS MISSION. MAY HE REST IN PEACE.”

After the Last Alarm dispatch, the RVFD alarm tower sounded three times, followed by three Federal siren blows from RVFD Engine 44 and NDW Engine 141. To close the ceremony, RVFD Firefighter Karen Raley played Taps on the trumpet, off in the distance from the burial site. It was a very moving service.

Timmy devoted over 20 years of his life to the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. He served the Department, and the citizens of St. Mary’s First District, with pride and distinction. We appreciate Timmy’s dedication, and his family’s sacrifices, during the years he served with us. Please continue to keep the Ridgell family, and our brothers and sisters in the fire service, in your thoughts.

We have the watch now, Timmy. Rest easy, friend.

Special thanks to Ron Bailey Photo Productions (https://www.facebook.com/RonBaileyPhoto) for providing photos (non-watermarked) and video links.

Mass of Christian Burial - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKlNWEV0eYs

Burial Ceremony - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOrg8uJ18Ao

Wake Slideshow (provided by the Ridgell Family) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLCTjlwFbAg

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