Thelma V. Ritz
Thelma Virginia Ritz, 97, formerly of Buck Valley, Pa., died Sunday, December 13, 2009, at the Orrstown Personal Care Home, Orrstown, Pa.
Born June 26, 1912, in Belle Grove, Md., she was the oldest child of the late Rev. Henry Wesley and Lottie Smith May. She lived part of her childhood in North Carolina while her father completed his ministerial degree at Elon College. After returning to Pennsylvania, the family lived in Bedford and Fulton counties.
She was a 1932 graduate of Warfordsburg High School. She married Ralph Glen Ritz on October 25, 1933. They made their home in Buck Valley with her husband’s parents, Calvin and Delilah Sigel Ritz. She remained in her beloved Buck Valley home for more than 70 years until failing health forced her to move in late 2004. Since early 2005, she has resided at Orrstown Personal Care Home, where the outstanding staff has provided thoughtful and loving care.
Her husband, Ralph, died suddenly on July 16, 1979, and two of her three children also preceded her in death: her oldest, devoted son, James Ralph Ritz, died June 13, 2008; and her second born, Brenda Ann, died at eight months in 1947. She was also predeceased by her five siblings: Gladys Spade, Conda Earl May, Maxine Goddard, Helen Barton and Patricia Weaverling.
She is survived by one daughter, Sharon Ritz Reinwald, and husband Dr. Thomas Reinwald of Shippensburg; daughter-inlaw Julianne Ritz of Pittsburgh; grandson Dr. Stephen Ritz and wife Lisa of New Castle, Pa.; grandson Dr. Jonathan Ritz and wife Dr. Patricia Spinner of East Lansing, Mich.; and three greatgrandchildren: Lauren, Alexander and Samuel Ritz, as well as a number of nieces and nephews.
She was a member of Buck Valley Christian Church and as long as her husband was living, they also attended Zion Lutheran Church in Buck Valley.
She was a creative and accomplished seamstress and needle worker, an avid and excellent gardner, a loving pet owner with a keen appreciation for the gifts of nature and a good cook who delighted in making her family’s favorite dishes.
Services will be held Monday, December 21, at 1:30 p.m., at Buck Valley Christian Church, Warfordsburg, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Pastor Scott Gibbs will officiate. Burial will be made in the church cemetery. Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Home Ltd., Chambersburg, is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial donations may be made to Buck Valley Christian Church, c/o Jenna Hoopengardner, 715 High Germany Road, Warfordsburg, PA,, 17267.