Gary Dennis Ritchey, age 73 of Niles, Michigan died at 1:20 a.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at The Chalet of Niles following an extended illness.
He was born on May 31, 1945 in Carlyle, Illinois to Robert L. and Lois (Higgins) Ritchey. He was graduated from Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana and has lived in Niles since 1974. He was a machine operator, and was employed in several shops including the former Parrish Tool and Die in South Bend, Indiana until its closing. He learned to operate the Blanchard Grinder, and his proficiency became well-known in the area. Clients would bring special projects to the shop where he was employed in order to get the perfect “Blanchard Grind” surface on their project.
Gary was raised in the Catholic Church. He was very dedicated to his vocation and reputation, but outside of work he was equally skilled at competitive shooting. His specialty was the turkey shoot in which he won regional trophies and prizes.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Ritchey and Lois Arrowsmith, and by seven siblings, Fred, Darrell, Kenny, Mike, John, and Bobby Ritchey, and Mary Jo Nash.
On June 21, 1974 in South Bend he married the former Constance Ann “Connie” Watkins with whom he celebrated earlier this year the forty-fourth anniversary of their marriage.
Surviving family includes his wife, Connie Ritchey; his children, Brian (& Danielle) Ritchey and Randy (& Kym) Ritchey, both of Niles, Sarah (& Chad) Leas of Buckeye, Arizona, and Robbie (& Sandi) Ritchey of Mesa, Arizona; grandchildren Lexi, Tonya, Tricia, Nina, Mason, Katelyn, Tyler, Jacob, Colten, Carly, Brad, Brittanie, Robert, Annabelle, Rachel, Quinton, Rick, William, Cristian, Matthew, and Ian; Gary’s mother Veronica Ritchey of Branford, Florida; Gary’s siblings, James (& Tina) Ritchey, Terry (& Jeff) Smith, Laurie Bates, and Pat (& Doug) Ryker, all of Branford, Joe (& Tammy) Ritchey of Archer, Florida, David (& Lisa) Ritchey of Wildwood, Florida, Donna Tucker of O’Brien, Florida, Kathy (& Ben) Brammer of High Springs, Florida, Sharon (& Gary) Fulford of Lake City, Florida, Bonnie (& Theron) Perry of Perry, Florida, Cheryl (& Joe) Clark of Owensboro, Kentucky, and Mary Ellen Ritchey of Beckemeyer, Illinois; and many nieces and nephews.
The Catholic Funeral Liturgy for Gary Ritchey will be read at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 14, 2018 in the Committal Chapel of Mission Hills by the Rev. Christian Johnston of Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles.
Contributions in memory of Gary may be made to an organization of the donor’s choice. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles. Online condolences may be left at: www.halbritterwickens.com