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Updated: 05/11/2014 08:00:01AM

Ridley Middleton Stuart

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Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Ridley Middleton “Rid” “Stu” Stuart, 80, passed away Thursday, May 8, 2014, in Port Charlotte, Fla., following a five-year bout with cancer.

He was born June 6, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wis.

He married Janice Suzanne Peterson on June 25, 1977, at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base chapel in Plattsburgh, N.Y. She was the love of his life for almost 37 years. Their homes are in Burnt Store Marina, Punta Gorda, Fla., and in Peru, N.Y. Ridley served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. Following his retirement, Rid worked at Banker Orchards in Plattsburgh for more than 30 years.

He was an active member of First United Methodist Church, and was in the church’s Early Birds small group, Men of Faith Bible Study and Harmony Sunday School class. Prior to his illness, he enjoyed playing golf and woodworking, and often said, while playfully rolling his eyes, “I enjoy doing anything my wife tells me to.” Ridley will be warmly remembered for his dry wit, kind spirit and gentle demeanor.

He is survived by his wife, Janice; sons, Matt and Sean Stuart; stepsons, Mark and Steven Chiappalone; stepdaughters, Nina Sullivan and Holly Morrow; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ridley was preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth; father, James R. Sr.; and brother, James R. Jr.

Friends of Ridley are invited to attend a memorial service at 10 a.m. Monday, May 12, 2014, in the Sanctuary of First United Methodist Church of Punta Gorda, 507 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. His wife will be receiving visitors and condolences immediately following the service in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First United Methodist Church of Punta Gorda, in memory of Ridley Stuart.

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