Last month was a tough month for the Ritchie Family. My father, Gail P. Ritchie, passed away on August 20, 2018 after a six year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 75 years old. He loved to sing in his church choir. He loved being a farmer and he loved being with his family. It was such a blessing to have worked with him as a kid on the farm and every summer with the Family’s Painting Business. He was one of the hardest workers and nicest people I have ever met.
I have written two prior blog articles about my Dad in the past.
Here is a blog article I wrote about painting with my Dad in the Family Painting Business as a kid.
Here is another blog about my brother and I taking our Dad to an antique tractor show and discussing our family’s farming heritage.
I put together a video honoring my father which I played at his funeral service as part of the Eulogy I gave for him. You can view it by clicking Here or on the link below. In the video he is singing one of his favorite Hymns — “How Great Thou Art” at a community church service and I included family pictures and some video from 20 years ago of him painting and of him in the field farming.
My Dad was a longtime member of the Colfax United Methodist Church and then First Assembly of God Church in Normal. He graduated from Octavia High School in 1961 lettering in multiple sports and receiving All-State Honorable Mention honors as a fullback in football. He served two years in the Army serving in Korea as an airplane mechanic. He was involved in 4-H during his youth and later served as a 4-H leader. He served as a lay speaker for the United Methodist Church and was a member of the Davis-Kerber American Legion Post 653.
Dad was a farmer for over 35 years. He started Ritchie’s Painting Service in 1987 and ran that business for over 25 years until he retired. He loved his family, singing in the church choir, his antique Allis-Chalmers tractors, and cheering on the Chicago Bears and White Sox. He was one of Ridgeview High School’s (Colfax) biggest fans. Dad was a hard worker who was willing to help anybody who needed it. He was a devoted husband and father.
My Dad was loved and respected by many and will be greatly missed.