Riding remembered for opinions

Lung disease takes tireless Maple Ridge volunteer.

Lorne Riding ran in federal and municipal elections.

One of Maple Ridge’s more well-known commentators and characters died Sunday following a long battle with lung disease.

Lorne Riding, a regular commentator on community issues, in letters and on social media, and a former federal and civic political candidate, had been dealing with lung conditions for a while, said his niece, Dawn Krahn.

Riding, 72, had emphysema for a long time, “then he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease many years ago,” Krahn added.

On Friday, he started developing chest pains and was taken to Ridge Meadows Hospital with a collapsed lung. He died two days later at about 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Krahn said her uncle was comfortable and died peacefully and didn’t want heroic measures taken to keep him alive.

Riding’s wife Judy said her husband had been frail and weak for a long time.

“In the last few months, it was kind of getting worse slowly.”

That kept him from accepting speaking engagements and slowed down his busy schedule.

“For years, he had meetings almost every night for different volunteer causes. And then when his health failed, he was so mad because he couldn’t do anything.”

Riding originally was from Saskatchewan and is survived by a daughter and two grandsons, his wife, niece and two nephews.

“He was known by a lot of people, but he didn’t have a big family,” Krahn said.

“He was very busy. He was involved in everything.”

Riding was president of Special Olympics B.C. for several years and was on the board of Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living and had been a long-time member of the B.C. Canadian Power and Sail Squadron.

For years, he had an old 36-foot boat built in the 1950s and Judy said there was always a joke that he liked his boat more than his wife.

But he sold that eventually and the couple took to motorhomes, although he found that difficult.

Riding used to run the Grasby’s Men’s Wear store in Haney Place Mall, said Judy.

“It was high-end men’s wear, so it wasn’t exactly the best town for that. I said you’ve got to sell sweat pants and cowboy boots. And he hated sweat pants, hated, hated, hated.”

He was also politically involved, having ran for the federal Liberals, then joining the Conservatives. Provincially, he was Liberal and well-connected locally. He also ran for Maple Ridge council a couple times.

Former Maple Ridge councillor Sandy Macdougall said Riding will be missed  and that he used to joke with him that the only thing he got elected to was strata council.

Two of Riding’s favourite pastimes were drinking coffee at Blenz, across from Maple Ridge city hall, and writing letters to the editor.

If the weather was OK, Riding would jump on his scooter and zoom up to the coffee shop and discuss the issues with his buddies.

“He had a lot feedback all over town from his letters so that was kind of funny. I didn’t always agree with him, but others did,” Judy said.

Many people knew him, she added.

“He knows everybody I don’t know how he does it. He only goes to Blenz. But he’s been around town a long time.”

Service arrangements still have to be confirmed.


Just Posted

Two open houses about Maple Ridge’s future

City wants ideas about road, northeast Albion

RCMP surround Maple Ridge house, make arrest

Man leaves home as canine team brought in.

Chef Lesnes is leaving the Garibaldi kitchen

He is retiring after 30 years.

Untrending: Welcome to the age of domotics

‘Smart home systems might even ensure a cleaned cat litter box.’

Work to start on Albion Community Centre next week

Politicians hold sod turning event on Saturday

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

‘I feel free’ says mother of BC murder victim after daughter’s belongings returned

After 11 years, Rosemarie Surakka said she feels like it is 99.9 per cent over

‘Predatory’ suspect sought after exposing himself on SkyTrain

Man had been riding the trains for about an hour between Main Street and Edmonds stations

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

Most Read