Ponca City, Okla. —
Ruth Ritter, long time resident of Ponca City, passed away Dec. 24, 2012. She was 81. Ruth was born on Tuesday morning, March 31, 1931, in rural Washington, Ind., the daughter of William Henry and Elsie Magdalean Zehr Ritter.
She was a graduate of Plainville High School; Purdue University with a B.S. in food and nutrition; dietetic internship at Colorado State Hospital; and had a Master’s Degree in Public Health Nutrition from University of Minnesota.
She was employed at Colorado State Hospital; Espanola, New Mexico at the United Brethren Mission Hospital; Wilford Hall USAF Hospital; San Antonio and Eglin, Florida USAF Hospital; U.S.P. Health Indian Service Hospital, Fort Defiance, Arizona; and Shiprock Service Unit, New Mexico before moving to Ponca City. She served as a Public Health Nutritionist for the Pawnee Service Unit, which included White Eagle, Pawnee, and Pawhusha. Ruth retired December 1984 with over 30 years of service.
Captain Ritter served in the United States Air Force four years, and was honorably discharged with a Commendation Medal and several ribbons. She was in the Reserve for two years.
Following the death of her father, Ruth’s mother lived and travelled with her for over 20 years. Ruth was a life member of NARFE, American Legion-Huff Minor Post 14, and Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 65. She also was a member of Professional Women Club, Soroptimist International Club, Ponca City International Club, and AAUW. In addition, she was a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and served as Stephen’s Minister and had many other positions and local district conferences. She was very active in United Methodist Women, and volunteered in missions for over 15 years. Ruth was a volunteer in many community organized groups such as YMCA, Meals on Wheels, Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, and RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program).
She received many recognitions including the Five Who Care Award, Service to Mankind Award and Challenger District by the Sertoma Club, AAUW Women’s Day Certificate for her contributions to her community by Soroptimist and AAUW, Oklahoma Hospice and Palliative Care Association Distinguished Virginia Staples Volunteer of the year in 2008, the YMCA Paul Marino Achievement Award in 1993, Marine Corps League Certification of Appreciation during Pioneer Detachments, charity garage sale for Hospice of NCO, Inc., several recognitions from Retired Senior Volunteer Program including the Frankie Moore Memorial Award and many more which are too numerous to mention. Ruth celebrated life and gave all in service to God. She enjoyed a beautiful yard and garden. She shared flowers, vegetables and fruits. Her other interests were travelling every state of the USA, much of Canada, and many countries of the world; cooking and baking and creating recipes; sewing; water exercise; and reading, including her Bible. Her favorite projects were providing transportation to anyone, delivering flowers, helping hospice patients or care givers, and visiting home-bound church members. Ruth is survived by her brothers Paul Frank and Ralph Aaron Ritter and his wife, Delia and their two children, Chris Ritter and Amanda Billingsley and her son, Eli.; nieces and nephews Jerry Timothy Ritter and his wife, Barbara, and two sons, Jay and Mark; Linda Mylet and her husband, Thomas, and two sons, Neil and Nicholas; Richard Ritter and his wife, Laura, and their four children, Dean, Tricia, Will, and Maggie; Jeanne Myers and her husband, Michael, and their three children, Carrie Ryan and Katya; Ann Lehman and her husband, Jeffrey, and their 2 children, Andrea and Jennifer.
She is preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, 5 brothers, a nephew, a sister-in-law, and a brother-in-law. She has a special adopted family, former co-workers, Dr. Ben and Dr. Carmen de la Paz, and their children, Anna, Dennis, and Emmelin, and grandchildren; members of Voyagers Sunday School Class and church members.
A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church with Rev. Doyle Sharp officiating and Rev. Robert Montgomery assisting. Services are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home and Crematory.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church trustee Fund, 1904 North Pecan Street, Ponca City, OK 74604 or The Child Development Center.