WHITEWATER — Edward “Ed” A. Ritter, 95, of Whitewater, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at the Rainbow Hospice Inpatient Center in Johnson Creek.
Ed was born on Jan. 28, 1925, on the family farm in the Town of Lincoln, Forest County, son of Ray and Clara (Patzke) Ritter.
He was baptized and confirmed in St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Crandon.
He graduated from the Crandon High School in 1942.
During World War II, Ed served in the U.S. Army, discharged as a Staff Sergeant, and later in the Army Reserve discharged as a 2nd Lieutenant.
In 1955 Ed married Joan Malchine, Wind Lake, in Norway Lutheran Church. Together they had three sons: Michael, Phillip and Stephen.
He was a longstanding active member of First English Lutheran Church where he taught Sunday school and seventh grade confirmation for many years, served two terms on the church council and as president of the congregation, and served one term on the Church Synod Council.
Ed was a member of William Graham Post 0173 of the American Legion in Whitewater, past member of Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Whitewater, and member and officer of the former Kettle Moraine Poultry Club and the Whitewater Gourmet Club.
He received his bachelor of education degree from Whitewater State Teachers College and his masters of education degree from Marquette University. While attending college, he was an active member of Chi Delta Rho (state) and Delta Kappa (national) social fraternities, and Pi Omega Pi (undergraduate) and Delta Pi Epsilon (graduate) scholastic fraternities.
Thirty-seven years of his life were devoted to education: seven years at Rochester, Wis., where he taught business education and English, 30 years with the Whitewater Unified School District where he taught business education and served two years as the first business manager of the district, and many years with the Gateway Technical College evening program where he taught adult classes of accounting.
During his teaching career, Ed was an active member of the Whitewater and National Education Associations, and the Wisconsin Business Teachers Association.
Upon retirement in 1987, he became a member of the Wisconsin and the Walworth County Area Retired Educators Association, serving for 13 years as treasurer of the county group.
His other interests were poultry and furniture refinishing.
Since moving to the little farm on South Franklin Street, Ed had raised thousands of bantams, standard chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. Hatching eggs and baby chicks were sent to fanciers throughout the United States, and birds were exhibited at the Wisconsin State Fair and at various poultry shows.
Ed is survived by his sons, Michael Ritter of Whitewater, Phillip (Karin) of Menomonee Falls and Stephen (Camille) Ritter of Muskego; seven grandchildren, David, Nicholas, Bryan, Jacob, Bryce, Theodore and Lauren; sisters-in-law, Donna Hanson and Doris Malchine; many nieces and nephews-in-law, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan; his first wife, Linda (Bjorstrom); his parents; sister, Margaret; father- and mother-in-law, Johnalbert and Esther Malchine; and brothers-in-law, Donald Hanson and John Malchine.
Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. on Feb. 22, at First English Lutheran Church in Whitewater, with the Rev. Steve Hanson and the Rev. Jerald Wendt officiating.
Visitation will be held at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of services.
Burial, with military honors, will be at Hillside Cemetery in Whitewater following the services.
Memorials may be made in Ed’s name to First English Lutheran Church.
Nitardy Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.