Memorable Manitobans: Walter Legget Ritchie (1928-2011)
Born at Vancouver, British Columbia on 22 March 1928, he came to Winnipeg as a child and was educated at Riverview School, Lord Roberts School, and Kelvin High School. He attended the Manitoba Law School then, in 1949, began articling with the law firm of Dilts, Baker, Laidlaw, and Shepard (later known as Thompson Dorfman Sweatman). He graduated in 1953 and became a partner with the firm in 1961. He succeded Donald Alexander Thompson as Managing Partner in 1973, serving until 1990. He was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1965.
His legal expertise was in the fields of civil litigation, competition, municipal and labour law. He appeared in all levels of courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and in the courts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. In 1986 he was elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He served on numerous boards and foundations, was Chief Returning Officer for Winnipeg South in the 1958 federal election. He was appointed Chairman of the Manitoba Elections Commission in 1980.
On 29 November 1967, he married lawyer Patricia Grace Watson at the St. Andrew's River Heights United Church and they subsequently had three children.
He died at Winnipeg on 29 January 2011 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.
“Ritchie - Watson,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 December 1967, page 20.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 February 2011.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 18 June 2022