Vida Ritchie DeMale, who for 28 years managed the Eastham Friendly Flower Islands with her husband, Dan, died on March 30, 2021. She was 94.
Vida was born in Hartford, Conn. on March 4, 1927, the daughter of David and Alice Mitchell Ritchie. She graduated from Hartford High School in 1945 and went to work for the Southern New England Telephone Company. She married Daniel H. DeMale on Nov. 25, 1950. They lived in Middletown, where their son, Daniel T., was born in 1951.
In 1959, Vida and Dan built a house in Eastham, spending many wonderful summers here with family and friends. Their dreams came true in 1983 when they retired to their beloved Cape Cod. Their days were spent square dancing, gardening, fishing, biking, and boating.
Vida and Dan played a major role in the growth of the Eastham Friendly Flower Islands (EFFIs), a volunteer initiative to beautify the town’s traffic islands with flowers — which now includes plantings in over 20 spots in town. In 2004, they were chosen as Eastham’s citizens of the year. All are invited to sit on their bench on the Windmill Green in their memory.
Vida was predeceased by her husband in 2013. She is survived by her son, Daniel; grandsons Michael and Christopher and wife Jennifer; and great-granddaughters Eliana, Ava, Quinn, and Lucy of Naperville, Ill. She also leaves a sister-in-law, Eleanor, and brother-in-law, Robert McNeil of Wallingford, Conn. In Eastham, she leaves nieces Elaine Gaffey Lucas and Gail Gaffey Pietrycha and husband Richard, and their children, Gregory, Julie, and Adam. She also leaves nieces and nephews Debbie and Tim Poach, Bonnie and John Zuzak, Tim and Lydia Gaffey, and Brian and Debbie Gaffey, neighbors Mike, Joanna, and John, and many other Cape friends.
She was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Eastham. There will be a celebration of her life at a date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Friends of the Eastham Council on Aging or to the EFFIs. For online condolences, visit nickersonfunerals.com.