Mark James Ridge, 53, originally from New York, currently of Appleton, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by love after his heroic 15-month battle with cancer. A result of his bravery and duty responding to Ground Zero after the disastrous attacks of 9/11. Mark was born on December 31, 1967, to Mark J. Ridge and Mary Lou Ridge (Bucci) in Brooklyn, New York.
Mark is survived by his wife, Tammy Ridge, and his children: Sean, Samantha and Brian Ridge; his stepchildren: Carly and Tyler Hinn; his mom Mary Lou Bucci, his stepfather Jerry Bucci, and his sister Maureen McAlpine. Mark is also survived by numerous loving friends, cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wonderful father Mark Ridge.
Mark graduated from Holy Trinity, in Hicksville, New York, where his love of football and baseball began, and he continued to be a lifelong Jets and Mets fan. You could often find Mark on football Sundays enjoying the game at the local sports bar with his football-loving buddies cheering on the Jets. He would often say, “Football Sundays are my favorite day of the week." Mark joined the Nassau County Sheriff's Department in August of 1995. Throughout Mark's career he was a well-respected Officer whom everyone knew could be counted on when things got tough. There was no one better to have your back when there was trouble. It was Mark’s kind, selfless attitude and his desire to help others that made him the officer everyone knew and respected.
Mark moved to Wisconsin in late 2016 to be with the love of his life, his wife, Tammy. During their 5+ years together, they enjoyed living life to its fullest including traveling to sunny destinations such as Mexico, Florida and Texas. The newlyweds never missed a country concert within three hours of their house. Mark and Tammy were often spontaneous and took road trips on Mark’s “bucket list,” driving his red Corvette convertible to local supper clubs and wineries. And, of course, Mark enjoyed visiting various sports venues such as Miller Park and Lambeau Field with his “native Wisconsinite wife,” Tammy. Mark and Tammy’s genuine, unselfish love was witnessed by all, especially when Mark was diagnosed with cancer, just two months prior to their wedding. Tammy never left his side. They were an inseparable team throughout his heroic cancer journey, and she was always his number one cheerleader.
Mark will forever be remembered as a man of honor and integrity. This was especially evident not only in his gentle acts of kindness with strangers, but also through the genuine friendships he made throughout his life. His love for his family and friends, as well as for his country, beamed true each day, with honor and pride. Mark has touched so many lives and would do anything for the people he loved. He was a true hero who remained positive even during the most difficult of times. Every time Mark was faced with a challenge, he would face it with courage and optimism...and most of all faith! Mark lived each day as if it were his last. He inspired many throughout his cancer journey including the wonderful, loving staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital and all the friends and family who have had the privilege to have known him.
Per Mark’s wishes, he will be buried on Long Island alongside his Dad, as Mark often referred to him as his “guardian angel." A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 9:45 AM on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at St. Killian Catholic Church (485 Conklin St.) in Farmingdale, NY. Visitation will be held from 4 – 8 PM, Monday November 22, 2021, at Chapey and Sons Funeral Home (20 Hicksville RD) Bethpage, NY Visitation at church on Tuesday beginning at 8:45 AM until the time of Mass. He will be laid to rest at St. Charles Catholic Cemetery, Farmingdale, NY following the Mass.
A celebration of Mark's life will be held at McGuinness Irish Pub (201 S. Walnut St. Appleton) on Sunday, November 28, from 1 - 5 PM. Friends and family are welcome to join the family to enjoy food and refreshments as well as sharing memories.
“A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.” - Darwin
A PERSON WHO FALLS AND GETS BACK UP IS MUCH STRONGER THAN A PERSON WHO NEVER FELL. Author unknown
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