Gerald M. Ridge
1929 – 2015
Businessman, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist,
and former Boston Policeman
Gerry was born and raised in South Boston, an enduring connection that remained important to him his entire life. He was the seventh of ten children. He attended parochial grade school in South Boston and graduated from South Boston High School. In 1946, Gerry enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served fifteen months in China before being honorably discharged in 1948. Upon his return, he worked for four years for the City of Boston during Mayor James M. Curley’s administration. Gerry joined the Boston Police Department in 1952, serving five years under Police Commissioner Tom Sullivan. A respected and successful business leader in the greater South Shore community, Gerry became involved in the banking industry in the early 1970s. He was a Director at the Milton Bank and Trust and later served as President and Chairman of Board at USTrust / UST Corporation.
He was a member of The Clover Club of Boston for 40 years, serving as its President during the 1990’s and was a longtime member of the Wollaston Golf Club. Gerry was an insightful and creative entrepreneur. He purchased Blue Hill Cemetery in Braintree and in 1965 built Ridge Arena, recognized statewide as one of the first and best arenas at the time. In 1980, he converted the arena into the Ridge Racquet Club. Gerry later developed a function and events center, Top of the Ridge, and a travel agency, Classic Tours by Ridge. His final project, Blue Hill Crematory, was completed in December 2014. Gerry was a selfless and longtime supporter of numerous charitable organizations including Catholic Charities, the Irish American Partnership, the Laboure’ Center, Marian Manor, the Paraclete Center, Cops for Kids with Cancer and the Francis Ouimet Society, to name a few. In the mid-1980s, he founded the Boston Police Athletic League which he chaired and directed for twenty-five years. During that time, PAL donated in excess of five million dollars to the City of Boston specifically for youth programs. In 2008, Gerry founded a non-profit organization, the Ridge Charitable Trust, with the objective of continuing his work with the Boston Police Department and its at-risk youth programs in the City of Boston in addition to creating and sponsoring educational and athletic programming. Gerry’s desire of giving back and always helping people in need was nourished by his South Boston roots, the love he had for his family, the faith he had in his church, and the pride he had in his community.