William D. "Buddy" Ritchie, 80, of Joe Frobish Road, Sardis, Ohio, passed away peacefully Saturday (April 20, 2013) at Akron General Medical Center after months of optimistically fighting to recover from an extended illness. His positive outlook and ready smile never wavered, and he never complained. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Nora Fluharty Ritchie. He was born in Monroe County, Ohio, March 2, 1933, the son of the late William and Bertha Ritchie, of Sardis.
Buddy lived most of his life near of his childhood home in Monroe County, but loved to travel to Branson, Pigeon Forge, and other fun family vacation spots. His family was the center of his world-and he readily opened his heart to turn friends into family and his home into a place of welcome for anyone lucky enough to visit. Later in life he collected Beanie Babies, enjoyed reading the Monroe County Beacon, loved to play the slot machines, and was happily watching the progress of the drilling in Monroe County. From his first paid job on the Fly Ferry to a career at Ormet, Buddy was a hard-worker who was never too busy to help others. He served in the Korean Conflict in the Army and was a member of the Hannibal American Legion. Buddy was a former Jackson township clerk, a volunteer EMT with the Antioch E-Squad, and a member of the Woodsfield Masonic Lodge. He attended church close to home at St. Paul's Trail Run and Locust Grove United Methodist Church.
He is survived and already missed by his children, daughter, Joyce (Ralph) Beckett of Sardis, Ohio; son, Casey (Michelle) Leasure of Panama City, Florida; son, Shawn (Rachael) Ritchie of Athens, Ohio; daughter, Mary Ritchie Harrison of Orrville, Ohio; newly "adopted" daughter, Jill Freeman and family of Lancaster, Pa.; his grandchildren, Joshua (Tasha Pittman) Beckett, Shannon Leasure, Michael Vice, Tyler Vice, Ryann Ritchie, Regan Ritchie; and Pap-Pap's special girl great-granddaughter, Caydence Beckett. He is also survived by his brother Joe Ritchie, Sisters Anna Riggenbach, Shirley Jowers, and Betty Brown, and many in-laws and extended family and friends. His many nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces will miss their Uncle Bud and his warm welcome and long stories. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Dwight Ritchie; sister, Carol Busche; and the grandson of his heart, Ronnie Harman Jr. Buddy will be missed greatly by everyone, but especially by his puppy, Gracie, who has been faithfully keeping his chair warm for him while he was away.
Buddy appreciated and sends thanks for everything his friends at The New Martinsville Dialysis Center did for years of caring for him, and he loved his team of caregivers from Ohio Home Health. Special thanks to all his caring physicians including Dr. Ghoubrial, Dr. Gunning, Dr. Jones, Dr. Deo, and the nurses, nursing assistants and therapists who shared our journey at Regency Hospital in Barberton, and Altercare of Wadsworth. Much love and respect to the ER/MICU teams at Akron General, especially Cody, Ryan, Michelle K. and Dr. David Lee who did everything right to help when everything was going wrong. What you do makes a difference.
Friends will be received at Bauer Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield, Ohio on Wednesday (April 24) from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. with Masonic services at 8 p.m. Funeral and celebration of life will be at Bauer Turner on Thursday (April 25) at 1 p.m. with calling hours from 11 a.m. until time of services. Interment in St. Paul's Church Cemetery near Antioch, Ohio. Military services will be conducted by the Belmont Veterans Council.
Online condolences can be expressed at www.bauerturner.com.