William “Bill” D. Ritchie
June 25, 1924 ‒ September 26, 2017
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Formerly of Mansfield, Ohio
William “Bill” Dale Ritchie, 93, of Colorado Springs, Colorado left this world on September 26, 2017, joining family members who preceded him in death.
Bill was born in Mansfield, Ohio on June 25, 1924, the oldest child of William Maurice and Iva Dale Ritchie. He married the love of his life Betty Jean Snyder, while serving as a Naval Aviation Cadet in Norman, Oklahoma on July 21, 1945.
Bill developed his love of aviation at about age 16 years old. His father bought him his first ride with a barnstormer and after that, while working in a butcher shop after school, he saved his pennies for a few rides and lessons. That led to Bill taking Betty up for a ride or two to seal the deal. Sometime after Pearl Harbor, he like many other young men, enlisted in our military. He chose to pursue aviation rather than ground pounding. He was just two weeks away from getting his wings of gold when Japan surrendered. Then the military told him he was not needed any more and sent him home.
When he returned home to Ohio, he and Betty attended Ohio State, he remained an avid Buckeye fan until his death. When their first son came along he left Ohio State to support his family and followed his father in the construction industry to Albuquerque, NM. Then, in 1953, he opened a branch construction office in Colorado Springs. Eventually his branch office grew to the extent he was performing work in Colorado, Texas and Kansas, so Bill found a way to bring aviation into his business by purchasing a small plane. This allowed him to visit remote jobsites and be home for supper the same day. Several of his brothers-in-law as well as family and friends flew with him in the Colorado Rockies and on many trips to Mexico.
Bill and Betty developed a fondness for the desert southwest while living in Albuquerque. They returned to that area living in Phoenix and Tucson before returning to Colorado Springs for their final few years.
Bill is survived by two sons Dave and Sue Ritchie of Bastrop, Texas and Fred and Jody Ritchie of Colorado Springs, Colorado; a daughter Jeanne and Ken Orr of San Antonio, Texas; eight grandchildren George and Barbee Ritchie of Wichita, Kansas; Phillip and Kathy Ritchie of Conroe, Texas; Ryan Orr of Bozeman, Montana; Tim and Miranda Orr of San Antonio, Texas; Brian and Gracie Ritchie of Denver, Colorado; Ashley and Alexi Ritchie-Douvas of Sunnyvale, California; Stephen Ritchie of Sacramento, California; and Christina Ritchie of Denver, Colorado; great grandchildren; Jo Lynn Ritchie of Everett, Washington; Kyle, Travis and Cara Ritchie all of Conroe, Texas; siblings by marriage and their spouses Helen Snyder of Mount Vernon, Ohio; Gifta Snyder of Bellville, Ohio; Madelyn Snyder of Marion, Ohio; Thomas Art Snyder of Mansfield, Ohio; J. Paul Snyder of Bellville, Ohio; Patricia and Larry Hoffman of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Janet Hope and James and Patricia Snyder all of Bellville, Ohio; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his beloved Betty on December 30, 2015; a son Timothy D. Ritchie in 2001; a grandson Peter Ritchie in 1995; a granddaughter Tracy Ritchie in 1981; and a brother James Ritchie.
Services celebrating Bill’s life will be held at the Broadmoor Community Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the spring of 2018. As Betty once said, “all I want when I am gone is to be remembered with good thoughts and that people will raise a glass in my honor”. Join his family in making this wish a reality.