Ovle Ambrose Oldridge Jr.
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Ovle Ambrose Oldridge Jr.

July 11, 1924 - October 12, 2017

Ovle Ambrose Oldridge Jr.

July 11, 1924 - October 12, 2017

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Obituary for Ovle Ambrose Oldridge Jr.

Ovle Ambrose Oldridge Jr., or "Buff" as everyone knew him, was born in Argonia, Kansas, U.S.A., July 11th, 1924. After completing high school, Buff attended one year of Seminary, but his studies were cut short by a need to serve his country in WWII. He left his home of Walla Walla, Washington, and entered the U.S. Army on March 10th, 1943, at Fort Douglas Utah, with aspirations of being a pilot, but after a very brief stint in ground school, was informed that the Army needed paratroopers, so he was sent to Ft. Eenning, Georgia, where he started parachute school. He then became part of one of the most revered fighting forces in modern times: the 82nd Airborne. When "Band of Brothers" came out many years ago, which follows a fictional group of men in the 82nd Airborne, Buff commented how well the series had been done with respect to its accurate portrayal of life for our service men during the most important fight for our freedom, and the world's freedom, we have ever known. Buff followed the series intensely, and ultimately purchased the VHS version. He often commented, if anyone wanted to know what his tour of duty was like, watch that program. They nailed it. Buff's active service began on March 18th, 1943, and would see him in battles and campaigns in the Rhineland, and Central Europe, where he served in Continental Service for 1 year, 10 months, and 22 days, and Foreign Service for a period of 1 year, 2 months, and 11 days. During his service he would be hooked up to a static line and be pushed out of an aircraft, because he could barely walk, with 200 lbs of explosives attached to his body. Then, Demolitions Specialist 7533, or, as we know him, Buff, would work with his fellow 82nd Airborne members blowing up bridges and other infrastructure items with the intent of halting the German retreat as the Allies pushed their way into Europe on "D-Day". His final mission was to guard Dwight D. Eisenhower's office in Berlin. Many years later, back in the 1980s, Buff transported his motorcycle to Europe and retraced his steps, where he would ultimately end up correcting a tour guide in Berlin regarding the correct office Dwight D. Eisenhower used. A member of the janitorial staff backed Buff up, asserting that they had been telling the tour operator for years that they were referencing the wrong room.......what a laugh. Who would have known better than Buff to set them straight? He had been there in 1946..... Buff was honourably discharged on April 20th, 1946, by Lieutenant Colonel J. Willard Wagner as a Staff Sergeant with the following Decorations and Citations: American Theatre Service Medal, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Victory Medal. He was also ranked as an expert M-1 rifleman 1st class on the 30 calibre weapon. Buff returned from the war and married my grandmother, Ellen Joyce Ferris. He decided that he would purse a career in psychology, and completed his Doctorate at the University of Southern California (USC). Shortly thereafter, Buff was hired by the University of British Columbia to head their education department, which he did for 27 years until 1991.

I knew him as Buff, not Demolitions Expert 7533, or Staff Sergeant Oldridge. It just amazes me to this day what an incredible man he was. He got me into motorcycles, flying airplanes, supported me though all my trials and tribulations growing up, and ultimately made sure I had a first class education, as I graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 2000, and obtained my FAA Airline Transport Certificate shortly thereafter, which is the highest credential you can achieve in the aviation industry. I'm so glad Buff got to see those successes, and got to really know my wife Judy, and my children Nicholas and Arielle. I'm so grateful for the incredible adventures we shared in the Yukon, Mexico, and elsewhere. He was the greatest man I have ever known, and the greatest man I ever will know. I miss him dearly. God speed Buffy...God speed......

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