Statement from the family of Colonel Karen Ritchie


    MONTREAL, Oct. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Colonel Karen Ritchie, Commander of
5 Area Support Group, passed away in a tragic car accident on Monday 13th of
October 2008. To honour her memory, her spouse, Chef Warrant officer (retired)
Don Peddle, and her family would like to release a public statement:
    We would like to first send heart felt condolences to the Canadian Forces
(CF) community and the many acquaintances Colonel Karen Ritchie had made
throughout her military career. We understand the sudden loss of a colleague
and friend to be difficult and would like to offer our thoughts and prayers
during this time of grief.
    Karen was a highly dedicated Army officer and will be remembered as a
dynamic woman with so much to offer as a devoted professional, caring friend
and as an adoring wife. Karen was a passionate person who was known for her
human side. She was loved and respected and will be dearly missed by all.
    Originally from England, Karen moved to Canada with her family in July
1973 and was raised in an Ontario community. She enrolled in the Canadian
Forces as an officer cadet at the Royal Military College in Kingston where she
completed an engineering degree and was among the first women graduates. She
served her country for over 28 years during which she was key in portfolios
such gender integration for the CF and a contributor to a NATO committee
regarding fair treatment of women. Since June 2007, she was in command of the
three Garrisons in Quebec and over 3700 military and civilian members all part
of the 5 Area Support Group.
    In closing, during this difficult time, as we grieve the loss of a
daughter, a sister, a friend, colleague and a wife, we respectfully request
privacy.

    Note to the editors: The Department of National Defence is publishing
this statement at the request of the family.



For further information: Captain Marie-Noelle Blanchet, Public Affairs
Officer, (418) 252-2777 ex. 4993, pager (514) 330-8493,
blanchet.mn@forces.gc.ca