In Memory of

Patricia

Grace

Watson

Ritchie

Obituary for Patricia Grace Watson Ritchie

Patricia G Ritchie Q.C. (nee Watson)

Passed away peacefully with family at her side on June 11, 2022, at the age of 81.

Beloved mother to Walter Jr (Gennevive), Heather (Victor) and Ian (Christie), dear sister to Shelagh (Bill) and the late Marilyn (Vern), devoted and treasured grandmother to Andrew, Eden, Jubilee, Kate, Timothy, Rory, Hannah and Hayden, and loving aunt to Jeff (Rebecca) and other nieces and nephews.

Adored by her late husband, Walter Legget Ritchie, Q.C. who affectionately referred to her as SWMBO, and whom she kept in line with the WLC.

A trailblazer and inspiration to those around her, Pat was the only woman to graduate in her law class, with the professors addressing the class: “Gentlemen … and Miss Watson.” Pat secured an articling position at Thompson, Dilts & Company on the recommendation of a law school administrator, who told the senior partner that the “student” had very good marks and “Pat” had excellent references. The partner was no doubt surprised when a "young lady" turned up for the interview. After articling, Pat was hired back as an associate at the firm, where she met Walter.

Pat later set up her own law practice and was one of the first women in Manitoba to be named Queen’s Counsel. During the course of her career, Pat actively participated in a variety of boards and governing bodies including the Crown Corporations Council, the Manitoba Law Reform Commission and the University of Manitoba - all while raising three children. She was the glue - and the rock - of her family.

Pat and Walter spent many happy years living in Headingley, passing countless weekends cutting grass. In the winter, they would often escape to Hawaii to get some peace and quiet from their rowdy kids.

Although she was diagnosed with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis in her late 30s, Pat was never one to complain, or let it stand in her way of getting things done. Instead, she would simply have the offending joint replaced (including an elbow), making her the embodiment of the bionic woman, and the subject of many an airport pat down on her trips to visit her grandchildren or exotic locales. She was signing herself up for a shoulder replacement when cancer was discovered.

Over the course of her life, Pat was blessed with many marvellous friends who provided her with tremendous support when Walter passed away. She in turn will be missed and remembered for her wise counsel, boundless curiosity and quiet grace. An avid reader and consumer of the news, she loved to engage in thought-provoking discussions, pour over the latest best seller with her book club, catch up with her sorority sisters over lunch at a local haunt, or grab coffee and a treat with other cherished friends.

The family would like to thank Pat’s friends for their steadfast support and the wonderful staff at Grace Hospice for the care Pat received. Practical to the end and modest to a fault, Pat asked that there be no service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Salvation Army, the Grace Hospital or a charity of your choosing.