Industry mourns passing of David MacRitchie


DARTMOUTH, N.S. – Atlantic Canada and the auto industry at large is mourning the sudden passing of the Steele Auto Group’s David MacRitchie.

He was 55.

Born in Sydney, N.S., MacRitchie began his career in the automotive industry at MacPhee Pontiac in Dartmouth in 1991.

With the support of Al MacPhee, he bought and ran Northumberland Pontiac in New Glasgow for 10 years from 1998 to 2008.

According to his obituary, he returned to Dartmouth to work as an automotive consultant in 2009 and was instrumental in several car dealership mergers and acquisition.

He joined the Steele Automotive group in 2011 as their COO and later as the president.

In addition to his efforts to help lead one of the largest dealership groups in Atlantic Canada, MacRitchie was the president of the Nova Scotia Automotive Dealers Association, a director in the Canadian Automotive Dealers Association and a friend to Canadian AutoWorld.

“His talent was enormous,” Steele Auto CEO Rob Steele told The Chronicle Herald this week. “He was the nucleus of the group. He had a personality and charisma that meant everyone liked to coalesce around him.”

His obituary painted a picture of a man who was not just defined by his work in automotive. In addition to helping run a multi-million dollar business, he was apparently quite the handyman and could fix just about anything.

“He applied his skills to significant affect – from building a rocking horse for his new niece, to the construction of a cottage on a shoestring budget, to completely rebuilding a 40-foot steel-hulled sailboat that we purchased after it had, for all purposes, sunk,” the obituary revealed.

MacRitchie is survived by his wife of 30 years, Cathy, and two daughters, Annie and Kristen.

The family has asked that donations in his memory be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or a charity of choice.