James Ritter, Jr.

Memorial Service

4:00 pm
Saturday, May 4, 2024
Seabury Chapel
400 Seabury Drive
Bloomfield, Connecticut, United States

Obituary of James W. Ritter, Jr.

James Willis Ritter Jr., born October 26, 1928, passed away peacefully on April 22, 2024, in Bloomfield, CT. James (Jim) was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Sylvia Beebe Ritter.  Jim leaves behind a loving family: son James B. Ritter, his wife Cathi and their children Caroline Amisson, James P. Ritter, and Abigail Fettig; son Gordon W. Ritter, his wife Emma Eckert and children Trevor Ritter and William Scott Ritter; daughter Caroline (Cally) E. Ritter, her husband Todd Lieb and their children Jackson Lieb, Rebecca (Becca) Lieb, Charles Lieb and Graham Lieb; and six great-grandchildren: Samuel, Grace, Ellie, Sarah, Nathan and Benjamin.   

Jim was born in Philadelphia, PA to parents Caroline Reid Ritter and James Willis Ritter Sr. He was raised in Wayne, PA and attended Radnor High School, where he enjoyed playing basketball and trombone.  He graduated from the University of Maryland where he majored in Agricultural Economics and played in the university band and orchestra.  He later served in the United States Airforce during the Korean War.    

Jim and Sylvia married in 1956 in Wayne, PA and then lived in Summit, East Orange and Chatham, NJ, where their three children were born.  In 1970 Jim and Sylvia moved to Glastonbury, CT where they lived for 42 years.  Jim worked for the Travelers Insurance Company for 35 years.  He was very active in his local churches, especially the many years spent with the Congregational Church in South Glastonbury.  He also volunteered for the YMCA and in his final years was an active member of the Seabury Retirement Community. 

Jim had a lifelong appreciation for the joys of nature and the outdoors.  As a young man, Jim enjoyed hunting with his father, uncle, and dog Nick on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  Later in life, some of his favorite times were spent walking the Connecticut fields with his sons, Jamie and Gordon and their dog Jodi.  Jim also enjoyed fishing the lakes and streams of Connecticut and Maine.  With his wife, Sylvia, by his side, he journeyed to national parks, state parks, and wildlife refuges, to be near and observe the waterfowl he adored. 

Jim loved to travel with Sylvia and their friends.  He enjoyed trips to countless states, Europe, and New Zealand.  Without a doubt, his favorite place to travel was to Camp Kokosing in Waterford, ME, where, for more than 50 years, he vacationed each summer with family and friends.  He dearly loved his Kokosing family! 

In 1992 Jim attended the John C. Campbell Folk Art School and discovered wood carving, sparking a passion for artistic expression.  Jim crafted beautiful duck and swan decoys and painted many landscape watercolor paintings.  At age 94, Jim had his last one-man art show for the residents at his Seabury Community.   

Jim will be remembered as a (lucky) bridge player, a good-natured companion, a terrific storyteller, and for having a wonderful smile and an easy laugh.  When asked to describe himself, Jim said, “There’s a lot of kid in me and I see the humorous side of life.”  No truer words.  

His memorial service will be held at 4:00 pm Saturday, May 4, 2024, at the Seabury Chapel, 400 Seabury Drive, Bloomfield, CT.  Reception to follow. Donations in his memory can be made to The Heifer International Project, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, AR 72202 or https://www.heifer.org/give/   For online condolences, please visit www.mulryanfh.com.

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