Viola Ritchey, age 93, died peacefully on Saturday, October 8 at her home at the Heritage Assisted Living Facility in Monona. Known to her friends as Vi, she is the daughter of Sam Christen and Rosa Duerst, stepdaughter of Peter Ch. Klassy.
Vi is survived by her son, Brian (Kim) Ritchey of Apex, NC and daughter, Cindy (Harvey) Skaar of Stoughton, WI. Grandma Ritchey had 5 grandchildren, grandsons Chad (Jenny) Ritchey, Eric Skaar, Brett Skaar and granddaughters Gina Ritchey and Brenda Skaar. Great-Grandma Ritchey is also very proud of her 7 great-grandchildren - Alyshia, Xander, Codi, Lucas, Blake, Brady, and Alex.
Vi lived her life being of service to others and believed her mission was to help those who crossed her path. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin and afterward became Nurse in the American Red Cross in World War II, where she met her beloved husband of 60+ years Howard (Earl) Ritchey. She was also an active volunteer in the Glenwood Moravian Church and in her community. Grandma Vi lived a life of selflessness until the very end of her life's journey. She is a strong supporter of the Glenwood Moravian Church and is happy to be reunited with Earl.
The family would like to recognize some of the groups and individuals who played a significant role in supporting Grandma Vi the last couple of years. The Heritage Assisted Living facility and staff, especially Leah and Kim. The Hospice Care organization and staff, especially Beth, Val and Cyndi. The Senior Helpers organization and staff, especially Marie, Ju, Michelle and Brittany. Mary Lou Plummer, the Pastor at Glenwood Moravian Church and all of Vi's companions in the weekly Prayer Breakfast group. Finally, the family would like to thank Deb, her Private Duty Nurse and the Angel who was by her side until the very end of her journey. Vi will also miss her 'puddy' cat Noelle who was her friend and companion.
A funeral service will be held at GLENWOOD MORAVIAN COMMUNITY CHURCH, 725 Gilmore St., Madison on Thursday, October 13, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Mary Lou Plummer presiding. A visitation will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 6021 University Ave., Madison, on Wednesday, October 12, 2011, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and at church on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.
Grandma Vi was a woman of Amazing Grace who is deeply loved and will be missed by those she touched.
Brian and Cindi, It's been many years since we have seen each other, but I used to run into your mother shopping at Copps once in awhile. If you don't remember me I lived across the street from Rosie and Pete when we were kids. We used to have so much fun when you would come and visit them. Your mother was such a nice person and always so friendly. I know she will be missed. Mother (who is still alive and will be 95 on the 21st) told me yesterday about Viola passing. I just looked up the funeral as I would have loved to come but I see it's actually going on as I am writing this. So sorry I didn't get there! God Bless you and your families. Barb (Gerry) Finke
Chad, your Grandma will continue to be proud of the man you are! On behalf of the team at IBM at DLC, heartfelt condolences to your whole family!
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