Family-Placed Death Notice
RITTER, Col. Jack (Ret.) RET. USAF COL. JACK L. RITTER MARIETTA- Ret. USAF Col. Jack L. Ritter, 80, died on Monday, July 15, 2013 at Kennestone Hospital surrounded by family. He was born on July 10, 1933 in Van Buren, Ohio. Upon graduating from Walbridge High School, where he was later inducted into their Hall of Fame, he went on to graduate and play Baseball University of Michigan. GO BLUE! Here he became a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and played baseball. His team won the College Baseball National Championship in 1953. He then went to play professional baseball for the Milwaukee Braves with an exceptional curveball that earned him the nickname "Lefty" but after a few years he sustained a career ending shoulder injury and retired. His baseball career was followed by a 30 year Air Force career. He served our country in Vietnam. He assisted with the development of the C5A with Lockheed. He graduated from the Army War College in 1976. He was the Vice Wing Commander of Rhein Main AFB, Frankfurt, Germany where alongside German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, President Jimmy Carter and other dignitaries he received the released Iranian Hostages in 1981 For his accomplishments he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Services, AF Commendation, AF Expeditionary, Combat Readiness, Humanitarian Services, AF Longevity and National Defense Medals. He loved flying and the camaraderie of his fellow pilots and soldiers. He also loved God, his family, playing golf, watching University of Michigan football, Atlanta Braves Baseball, Falcons football, cooking, travel, yachting on Lake Lanier with his wife and friends, helping other's with financial planning. In retirement he enjoyed working as a starter at Indian Hills Country Club. His greatest, most precious, victory was a never ending love affair with his wife and best friend of 44 years, JoAnn Ritter. He is survived, loved and honored by his wife JoAnn Ritter, his sons Jack Ritter, Jr., and Rob Ritter, his daughters Susan Ritter Browning (John ) and Sheri Turner along with Grandchildren Brent Ritter, Melanie McMinn, Kevin Browning, Chris Sax, Brandon Turner and Nica Dias. His was preceded in death by his son Steve Ragucci and his parents Lester and Rheena Ritter. Col Ritter will put to rest with his fellow veterans in the Georgia National Cemetery. Memorial Services (8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.): Mount Bethel United Methodist Church 4385 Lower Roswell Road Marietta, GA. 30068 770-971-2880 Full Military Honor Ceremony (10:45 a.m.-11:30a.m.) Georgia National Cemetery 2025 Mount Carmel Church Lane Canton, Ga. 30114 770-479-9300 Advantage Funeral Home, Lilburn, GA. 770-923-2940.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 25, 2013