Obituaries
Rev. Donald E. Ritchey, 86

The Rev. Donald E. Ritchey, 86, North Manchester, formerly of Mexico, passed away peacefully at 7:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, at Timbercrest Healthcare, North Manchester, where he had lived since 2007.

Born on June 14, 1930, in Palestine, Ill., he was the son of Dolar C. and Lois Mary Teegarden Ritchey.  Don grew up in Crawford County, Ill., before his family moved to Darke County, Ohio, where he attended high school.  Don had plans of becoming a dairy farmer and had started a herd of Guernsey cows. However, God had different plans for Don.  At the insistence of his father, Don left the farm and headed to Manchester College.  It became clear to Don that God had called him to become a pastor.  The cows were sold, and Don completed his education at Manchester College. 

After graduating from Manchester College in 1952, Don went on to Bethany Seminary in Chicago.  It was there where he met Mary Lenker, and on Aug. 30, 1953, the couple were married at Don’s home church in Ohio.  They completed their education at Bethany Seminary, and as an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, they moved in 1955 to Hartford City, where Don served as pastor of the Bethel Center Church of the Brethren for four years before being called to the Mexico Church of the Brethren in Mexico.  The Ritchey’s served the congregation at Mexico from 1959 until retirement in June 1993. 

During his retirement years, Don served as interim pastor for five different congregations while filling the pulpit for other congregations on many occasion. Together, Don and Mary also volunteered many months of service to Bethany Seminary, both in Oak Brook, Ill., and in Richmond, helping maintain the campuses with their maintenance and landscaping skills.

Over the years, Don and Mary oversaw the relocation of the Old Folks Home from Mexico to North Manchester, the building of the new church building at Mexico, and designed and built their own beloved home in the woods outside of Mexico.  Don was an avid reader, gardener, photographer, and wood worker, building his own home and many cabinets and furniture.  Together, Don and Mary traveled to several different countries and visited all 48 contiguous states with their traveling camper, which took them to Annual Conference each year for over forty years.  Don spent countless hours working in his woods surrounding his home, and he continued his love of being outdoors by mowing the grass and mulching fallen leaves at Timbercrest each summer and fall.  In addition to his outdoor volunteering, Don ministered to the residents and staff at Timbercrest and preached on many occasions for Sunday Morning Chapel. 

Don is survived by three daughters, Donna Ritchey Martin and husband, Tim, Myersville, Md.; Deborah Ritchey Okeson and husband, Edwin, Rockford, Ill.; and Dorothy Ritchey Moore and husband, Ronald, Bryan, Ohio; and six grandchildren, Ben Martin, Jon Martin, Jacob Okeson, Robert Okeson, Ruth Ritchey Moore, and Anna Ritchey Moore.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Bill and Art Ritchey.

A Celebration of Life will be at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, at Timbercrest Chapel, North Manchester.  A time of visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. before the service in the Timbercrest Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Timbercrest Resident Assistance, 2201 East St., North Manchester, IN, 46962. Condolences may be sent online at www.mcclainfh.com.

McClain Funeral Home, Denver, Indiana, has been entrusted with arrangements.
 


 

Posted on 2016 Dec 07