Sylvia Ritter

Obituary of Sylvia B. Ritter

Sylvia Beebe Ritter, born June 26, 1932, passed away peacefully on April 27, 2020. She is survived by her dear husband of 63 years, James W. Ritter of Bloomfield, CT as well as her loving family: son James Ritter, wife Cathi and their children Caroline, James and Abigail; son Gordon Ritter, wife Emma Eckert and children Trevor and William (Scott); daughter Caroline(Cally) Ritter, husband Todd Lieb and their children Jackson, Rebecca, Charles and Graham; and six great-grandchildren: Samuel, Grace, Ellie, Sarah, Nathan, and Benjamin. Sylvia was born in Greenport, NY to Mildred and Harold Beebe. She was raised in Radnor, PA and attended Radnor High School, where she enjoyed playing field hockey and tennis as well as singing in the choir and glee club. She later attended Mount Holyoke College (Class of 1954) where she majored in Art History and made several life-long friends. Jim and Sylvia met in 1954 and were married in 1956 in Wayne, PA and lived in East Orange, NJ and Chatham, NJ, before making Glastonbury, CT their home for 42 years. During these years, Sylvia was involved in a wide variety of local activities. She enjoyed being a part of a tennis league for more than 20 years, book club for 10 years, art study group for 25 years and her Friday women’s group for 20 years. She treasured these anchoring endeavors and enduring relationships throughout the years. Sylvia was also a life-long, active member of South Glastonbury Congregational Church where she served in several board and leadership roles, as well as a member of the Open and Affirming Committee. Sylvia loved to travel with her husband Jim and their many friends. She enjoyed trips across Europe, New Zealand, and much of the United States, visiting many of our national parks and estuaries. She especially loved the beach, making annual winter trips to Florida, where she treasured beach walks, sun, sand, birds and water. She and Jim enjoyed many Elderhostel excursions as well as their annual family vacation to Waterford, ME at Camp Kokosing. Sylvia will be remembered for her amazing ability to see the world around her through a lense of culture and beauty. Across a wide array of artistic pursuits, she combined creativity, tenacity and talent to create fiber works of art, delicious dishes and glorious gardens. Her irises and daylilies live on in her children’s gardens. Her apple and blueberry pie recipes, written in her gorgeous handwriting, are family treasures. She could open a refrigerator and create something out of nothing. Her kids lovingly called these meals “Sylvia Glop”. She also put her artistic talents to use while working as a mechanical artist for many years. Sylvia’s creative talents were most evident in her fiber-art. She was a self-taught artist, who began knitting and sewing as a youth and matured into a master knitter and quilter. She loved colors of every hue, and carefully selected every shade in each of her creative endeavors with purpose and meaning. During her knitting heyday, close friends and family often enjoyed receiving gifts of carefully designed and perfectly knitted sweaters. In 1992, Sylvia attended the John C. Campbell Folk Art School and discovered quilting, which would turn into a passion for the next 25 years. She made wedding quilts, baby quilts and quilts for all of her grandchildren upon their high school graduations. Perhaps her greatest works were the many banners she created and crafted for South Glastonbury Congregational Church, which are still on display during the different liturgical seasons. Sylvia will be especially remembered for her beautiful smile, her bright and open mind, warm sweaters, comforting quilts, garden flora, and for being a loving and supportive wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was dearly loved. Her memorial will be held at a future date when friends and family can gather safely to honor Sylvia. Donations in her memory can be made to: The Heifer International Project, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, AR 72202 or The Congregational Church in South Glastonbury, P.O. Box 187, South Glastonbury, CT 06073 or
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