Obituary of Madeleine Josephine Dahl
'Maddy', Madeleine, twin daughter of Molly and Burt Ridgway, sister of Mary and John, wonderful wife to Ian and beloved mother to Marcus and Grandmother to Aengus. Madeleine loved people and friends and family, music and dancing, going out and being at home. She loved driving and being driven, road trips in Australia, country drives in England. Old pubs, and French and Italian restaurants, good French wine. She made wonderful food - rock cakes, and pasta sauce, and pancakes and Babooti. She loved her wonderful friends Joyce, Lillian, Nimilah, Darna and Susan (and many others). She loved art and laughing and talking. She treated everyone as equals, as new friends. She liked to dress up and go out, to drink coffee in cafes and read books. She loved Picassos, and Kings Road, in the old days and her favourite home in Paddington, Sydney perhaps most of all. She looked after Marcus and Ian for her whole life, always thinking more of others than of herself, always wanting to help, to make things better, to sooth and love and take care of 'her two men'. She encouraged Marcus in all his ridiculous pursuits, whether guitars, or cars, or books, collecting him from school or dropping him off with a guitar somewhere (also introducing him to wonderful Stephanie at the Rock N Roll High School). She drove Ian in his varied cars, on so many journeys long and short, She taught Marcus to drive in her little red car, and drove Ian's big blue beast around Melbourne as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She loved going to University and worked so hard to get there and get the most out of it, meeting new friends Pam and Sunny and many others there. She also looked after Fiona in Fiona's final year of school, and as a family we were so happy to have a wonderful surrogate sister/daughter (alongside of course, crazy Jemima the Beagle). Madeleine had so many happy times in Beaumaris, with Joyce and the Guymers and the gum trees. She loved her Mother and Father so much, and always tried to see them as much as possible, returning to England to see them/and moving back when she was worried they were getting old. Madeleine loved just sitting with them in the car or at home or in an old country pub. Madeleine loved France and good restaurants, and boulevard cafes. We were so lucky to take a final trip to France only a few years ago, which she loved. She loved England, country lanes and country pubs and listening to the birds and picking blackberries like Molly and Burt. She loved her sister Mary and brother John, and always missed them when we were away. Perhaps her happiest time was living in Sydney, where it was warm and sunny and she met her lovely friends through the art group, and spent so much time with Ian, working alongside him almost every day. As a family we had some wonderful holidays in Australia when Marcus would come out once a year. Road trips in the old Holden or the Fairlane. picnics under the trees in the bush, meals out, staying in funny motels in little Aussie towns. She loved our Aussie family, the crazy visits from Bruce Dahl, or our long trips to see Louis and Elaine and the girls and the wonderful old farm in Canberra. Some of our happiest memories as a family together are in Australia. She was also happy to be back in England, reuniting the family in Bristol for her final years, where Ella also joined the family and helped Maddy through her most difficult last years (and without whom Maddy would have left us a long time ago). We will always miss you and love and think of you every day. Darling Mother and Wife, and Best Friend, Maddy, Madeleine Josephine Ridgway Dahl From Ian: Barclays Bank D.C.&O. was the start of Madeleine's working career, eventually working in personnel at Barclays headquarters in the City. When Ian was moved up to Leeds , with no local international branch,Madeleine moved to The Royal Insurance Co becoming their first female underwriter specialising in "industrial fire"! She was elected by her colleagues to become a union shop steward and went for residential training in Liverpool - an appointment that rather shocked Ian and his firm Marks & Spencer!! Before Madeleine left South Africa in 1971 she volunteered with Ian to operate the massive old film projectors showing movies weekly at the Cape Town, Missions to Seaman. In the 1980's Madeleine was an unpaid volunteer fundraiser working to raise the Mary Rose, King Henry Viii's flagship. She operated the mobile exhibition bus, taking it to London, all over Hampshire and even to Brussels. She met the President of the Trust, HRH The Prince of Wales on many occasions. Later Madeleine was a volunteer at The Tate Gallery working in its archives department. She had a passion for art, particularly English watercolours and Victorian oil paintings - her favourite painter being Turner. As a partner in Ian's corporate life, she met HM The Queen, her three sons and Princess Ann and many notable people in British public and business life. The shy little girl from Fish Hook in the Cape who first met Ian when she was 16, developed into a confidant beautiful woman who moved through life - relocating to Hampstead London on her own, then Leeds, St Germain-en-Leye in Paris, then Watford, Old Portsmouth, Melbourne, Southsea, Sydney and finally to Bristol. Attended functions at Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court - visited Berlin when a divided city, New York and across the US to San Francisco as well as Hong Kong and Singapore. For Ian, Madeleine was simply his "soulmate" in every aspect of his life and career. Always supportive, always ready to risk all and move on, always at at his side with a beautiful smile and generally holding his hand - even when he was driving! They were married for over 50 years. Her life was all about living the moment and never wanting or expecting the rewards of business or career success. Funeral information The funeral takes place in the circle of the closest ones.