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Richard Ritzschke

Sept. 20, 1935-Oct. 31, 2008

Former Chaska resident Richard E. Ritzsche, 73, of Ponsford, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 31, 2008 at his home on Bass Lake.

Richard Erich Ritzsche was born to Erich and Gladys Ritzchke on Sept. 20, 1935 in Herman, Minn. In 1946, the Ritzschke family purchased and developed a resort on Bass Lake, near Ponsford. In 1950, his family moved back to the family farm in Herman.

Richard graduated from Herman High School in 1954. In January 1955, he entered the United States Navy, where he proudly served for four and a half years aboard the USS Forestall. He married Marilyn Ellingson on July 10, 1956 in Southmills, N.C. This union was blessed with two children: Robert and Kim.

The family made their home in Chaska, Minn., where Richard worked as a carpenter for three years. Later, he began working as a heavy equipment operator for the Plehal Blacktop Company, in a career that spanned 36 years, until his retirement in 1997. Richard loved the outdoors. He was an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman, who especially enjoyed the times he could spend with his friends and family pursuing these interests. He was a member of the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Snellman.

Richard will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 52 years, Marilyn; his son, Robert Ritzschke of Minnetrista, Minn.; his daughter, Kim (Michael) Eiden of Glencoe, Minn.; his four grandchildren and one great grandson; as well as two sisters, Joanne Gilbertson and Dianne Reimers.

Preceding Richard in death were his parents; a sister, Loretta and a brother, David.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Snellman, with the Rev. Bill Neumann officiating. The honorary casket bearers will be Richard's grandchildren: Sarah Bratsch, Holly Eiden, Jennifer Johnson and Angela Eiden. Military honors will be conducted by the Star Of The North Marine Corps League.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Jones-Pearson Funeral Home of Park Rapids.