MIDDLETON - Mr. Robert C. Riddle, 73, of Middleton, beloved husband of Jeanne (Rubchinuk) Riddle, with whom he shared 51 years of marriage, passed away peacefully at his home, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 with his loving family by his side.
Born in Peabody on January 7, 1947 he was the son of the late Ralph Ellsworth Riddle and Dorothy Eleanor (Anderson) Riddle. He was raised and educated in Middleton and was a graduate of Masconomet Regional High School in 1965. Bob continued his education and graduated from the General Electric All-Around Machinist Apprentice Program in 1968.
Following his completion of the Apprentice Program, Bob embarked on a long and distinguished career with General Electric as a Manufacturing Engineer in the Aircraft Engine Division where he work on the T700 and CF34 Jet Engines for over 38 years, retiring in 2003. He was a Massachusetts Certified Machinist and did everything with precision. He was also the owner and operator of R.C. Riddle Concrete Cutting Service for 22 years. Bob was known for his strong work ethic, attention to detail and was often sought after for expertise in many fields.
Bob was Jeanne’s soul mate, friend and the love of her life for the past 61 years meeting in grammar school and continuing their courtship all through junior high and high school. Jeanne and Bob married on September 22, 1968.
A loving and devoted husband, father and Grampi, his family will attest to the man he was, how he affected their lives and their unconditional love for him; Bob loved his sons and his grandchildren “whole bunches”. He especially enjoyed visiting them and passing on his knowledge and experience whenever he could. Brent and Pam remembered “When you didn’t know how to start, create or fix something, you called Dad. He would be there in no time to help start the project. His love, wisdom, knowledge and compassion for others will be dearly missed. He will forever be the first person to think of when in need. I love you forever Dad. Anytime we needed help with anything, Bob was always the first person we would call, and he was always there for us. I like cracking the egg on the head when Brent and I first dated. I sort of consider that my initiation into the family. I love how he would say “That’s just great!” every time I would tease him. I like how every time we were given a gift he always claimed that he was the one who bought it and that it was all his idea every single time even though we all know it was Jeanne; and realistically, he probably didn’t even know what we were opening half the time! These are among the many special memories we will cherish forever.
John and Alicia remembered; Dad was a true giver. He gave his love, time, knowledge, experience or just a helping hand to anyone whether they knew him or not. From earlier days of “Tickle Attack”, to going on a concrete cutting job, to him helping out on a recent home project, there are endless wonderful memories of him giving his selfless love and wisdom. He was such an awesome Grampi to all his grandchildren. He was a wonderful husband to my Mom. He was the best Dad a boy could ask for. I love you Dad! I will miss Bob and his smile. I will miss his care and concern for our family. I will miss his Putt List, more specifically the Putt List he completed each time he came to visit us. Everywhere I look in my home, I see his touch. The window sills, fireplaces, tile, and yard work. I can’t see the holes he patched in the walls when we had water damage, but that’s the point. I’m sorry it was usually finish carpentry, his least favorite. Bob was a master, and his work stands as a legacy. More importantly, I am lucky to be married to his son, John. John is the amazing man he is because Bob and Jeanne would have it no other way. They supported John in all his dreams, and we are blessed by this each day. I see Bob in our children and their determination. I see Bob in their love for others and will never forget how he and Jeanne welcomed me and Kobe into their family. I see Bob, in their sense of humor and love for dessert, especially whipped cream. I will forever be grateful to be among the privileged few, the Riddles.
Andy remembered his Dad as Superman. He built, fixed, and invented. He shared his knowledge, experience, and wisdom with his kids and grandkids. He was known and loved in the community throughout and always wished the best for everyone. He is my hero and always will be. Cara remembers; everywhere we look, there are reminders of Bob. He helped, he fixed, and he touched our lives in so many tangible and intangible ways. I can see the treehouse he built for Evan and Mason, the rock wall he helped us build, and our “Bob Tree.” But I can also see in his children and grandchildren the qualities of decency and goodness that were his defining characteristics, and I am so blessed he will live on through them. He was a second father to me, and one of my favorite people. I will miss him dearly.
A loving and devoted Grampi is remembered by his biggest fans; Mason remembers his favorite thing about Grampi is the lizard! I also love the outdoor chess board area. I will miss everything about Grampi. I love the treehouse he built for us. He was so awesome and I love him. Evan loved that his Grampi was funny. He always said “Holy Mackerel!” I love his awesome cars. He helped build our deck and it’s a great place to sit in the sun. I will miss everything about Grampi. Christian remembered Grampi saying “Fee Fi Fo Fum” coming down the stairs. I enjoyed our visits to see the goats, Maizy and Daizy at a local friend’s house. Gianna remembered; I remember Grampi giving us money because he loved us. Zac will never forget his Grampi. My favorite thing that Grampi did was being there for me and making me smile. I will always remember making Whoopi Pies and enjoying desserts. He played games with me. There are so many things at Nana and Grampi’s house that I love and look forward to when I visit, but mostly just spending time with them. I loved our trips to Dunkin’ Donuts in one of his cars when I would visit, and I loved when he would visit me in Utah. I love Grampi. What Whitney loved most about her Grampi was that he always told me I could do anything, and if I didn’t know how to do something, he showed me how. My favorite memories of Grampi are riding in his old cars, going to visit Maizy and Daizy (goats), and helping him in his garage. What will always make me think of Grampi is old cars and construction vehicles. I will miss him asking me, “Whitney, why are you so beautiful?” knowing the answer had to be, “Because, you’re my Grampi!” I will never forget our summertime visits and fingertips stuck on the Whippi! I will miss building things like birdhouses and fairy gardens with Grampi, and driving in his cars with him listening to old songs, but I know that he loves me and I love him so much too. Kobe said Grampi Bob is the best grandfather I could ask for. My memories of Grampi Bob are filled with fun little adventures, like checking out the scoopabozer in the back yard, or going to the dump in Grampi’s truck, listening to the main theme of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and eating an orange Tic-Tac or two (or three, or four, “but they’re really not that good for you and if I let you have any more you’ll get me in trouble with Nana”). I always felt loved around Grampi, and I always knew he cared. Throughout all his time on the Earth, Grampi was a kind, sincere, loving, god-fearing man. He was a wonderful father and grandfather, who demonstrated his principles through both word and deed. I love you Grampi, and while it’s hard to have you gone and I miss you so dearly, it’s comforting to know that those above get to experience your lovely presence for this time.
A lifelong resident of the town of Middleton, he gave of himself every day to his family to his community and church. “Mr. Fix-It” as he was fondly known volunteered in his community helping seniors with home projects and to help make their home environment safe. Bob was a longtime member of First Church in Wenham where he loved teaching the younger Sunday School children for several years. One lesson about the life of Jesus involved a carpenter’s shop with tools Jesus might have used. Bob set up an activity where the children could make simple projects from wood. In his youth, Bob was a Boy Scout and later, as a father, he was a Den Leader for each of his three sons.
His hobbies included woodworking, gardening, and collecting and refurbishing antique cars. He especially liked collecting very large stones and placing them around the yard.
Bob was a member of the Greater Boston Elfun Association.
Bob enjoyed the monthly breakfast meetings with the Middleton Mumblers. He also made a habit of meeting his two best buddies, Dick and Paul, for their 3:30pm coffee at Dunkin Donuts.
He will be forever remembered for his love for family, dedication to his community and devotion to his church and deeply missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.
Surviving Bob in addition to his wife Jeanne are his three sons, John Riddle and his wife Alicia of Draper, UT, Andrew Riddle and his wife Cara of West Hartford, CT, and Brent Riddle and his wife Pamela of North Grafton, MA, his seven grandchildren; Kobe, Whitney and Zachary Riddle of Draper, UT, Mason and Evan Riddle of West Hartford, CT and Christian and Gianna Riddle of North Grafton, MA, his sister Sandra Sue Davis and her husband Lewis of East Lebanon, ME and several nieces and nephews. He was also the father of the late Katherine Jean Riddle.
ARRANGEMENTS: Private services were held by the family. Assisting the family with the arrangements is the Peterson-O’Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., (Rte. 62) Danvers. Expressions of sympathy may be made Bob’s memory to Boston Children’s Hospital (Giving.ChildrensHospital.org/ways-to-help) Retina Research (Retinaresearchfnd.org). Sharing written remembrances and condolences, during this time will be essential in helping Bob’s family reminisce, celebrate and heal. We encourage you to share your memories by visiting his eternal tribute at www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert C. Riddle, please visit our floral store.