Roger Otis Ritchie
Roger Otis Ritchie

Roger Otis Ritchie, husband of Carol Borden Ritchie, and father of Mark (Marilyn), Dan (Jo Ann), and Scott (Kathy), passed from this earth Sunday evening, Jan. 26, 2014. He was 83 years old. Roger was also the proud grandfather of three grandsons, three granddaughters, and great-grandfather to two great-granddaughters.

Roger was born Nov. 19, 1930, to Elizabeth and Paul Ritchie in Van Wert, Ohio. He was the eldest of three: brother to Mary Ellen Ritchie Lloyd of Venedocia, Ohio, and Rex Ritchie, formerly of Van Wert, currently of Winchester, Va. Roger always took great pride that he was born into a family of farmers and always remained close to his farming roots. While it was back-breaking work, nevertheless, he remembered his days as a farmer with great fondness. He loved telling stories about his experiences on the family farm, especially about his two favorite Percheron draft horses, “Bird” and “Tony.”

Roger turned his love of farming into a career with The New Holland Farm Equipment Company for 32 years, progressing through the years from territory salesman, sales manager, and eventually retiring as branch manager in Joliet, Ill. He made numerous life-long friends from his years with New Holland.

Roger was a very gifted and innovative person with tools. He had a well supplied “basement workshop” where he kept his family supplied with many clever and artful projects to use around the house and garden. If anyone in the neighborhood ever needed a tool, nut, bolt, or screw, Roger probably had it.

Roger and Carol lived in several places in Ohio as he was promoted in his career. After accepting his final position in Joliet, Ill., he made that his home for 42 years. The Ritchies were wonderful neighbors, hosting many get-togethers and lending a helping hand wherever and whenever it was needed. They were active members of Faith Lutheran Church of Joliet.

As the couple’s health declined, they recently had become residents of The Moorings of Arlington Heights so they could be close to their youngest son, Scott and his family. Roger and Carol were never very far apart from each other during their 65 years of marriage, raising three successful sons and creating endless treasured memories that will comfort Carol as she continues as a resident at The Moorings.

Roger was preceded in death by his parents and grandson, Matthew.

Per Roger’s wishes, cremation rites were accorded. Memorial services will be held in the spring in both Joliet, Ill., and Van Wert, Ohio.

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