Dr. Phil Ritchey

Obituary
  • "Uncle Phil, I have never known someone so loving and..."
    - Cheryl Haylock-Rancourt
  • "A great man, in a world where it is increasingly rare to..."
    - Robert Carroll
  • "Phil will be missed. His life is inspirational. Fred..."
    - Fred Koehler
  • "In remembrance of a classmate who brought healing to his..."
    - George Kilishek
  • "A truly spirited, generous and gifted physician and..."
    - Page Neville

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Dr. Phil Ritchey

Dr. Phil Ritchey, 77, husband of June Ritchey of Ponce Inlet, FL passed away on Thursday, August 29, 2013. The family and friends of Phil are invited to attend his Funeral Service on Saturday, September 7, 2013 at SULLIVANS HIGHPOINT FUNERAL SERVICE, Fayetteville, NC at 11:00 a.m. Burial will occur later in the month at West Point, NY. Dr. Ritchey was born on September 15, 1935 in Marion, Indiana to the late Dr. John A and Rebecca S Ritchey and grew up in Salem, Oregon. Following graduation from West Point in 1957, he attended Airborne and Ranger Schools at Fort Benning, GA and he served his initial tour in the United States Army as an Air Defense Officer in a NIKE Hercules Battery on Long Island, NY. After three years, he was accepted to medical school at the University of Oregon, Portland, OR. He completed his internship at Tripler Army Hospital, Fort Shafter, HI followed by flight surgeons training at Pensacola, FL, and advanced trauma training at Fort Sam Houston, TX. In 1967 he was deployed to Vietnam where he joined the 101st Airborne Division as a flight surgeon for 1st Brigade and participated in the infamous Tet Offensive, where he received a Bronze Star. Upon return, he rejoined his family in Maryland where he pursued his residency in Opthalmology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He then pursued a fellowship at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL prior to moving to Hope Mills, NC and retiring from the military in 1977 at Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg, NC. Dr. Ritchey was in private medical practice at the Valley Eye Clinic in Fayetteville, NC for over 30 years. During that time he continued a life of selfless service by leading volunteer medical missions to disadvantaged areas all over the world through Surgical Eye Expeditions International (SEE International). Through this phenomenal organization he gave the gift of sight to impoverished people in remote areas of the world such as war torn Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Bulgaria, Nepal, Guyana, India, China, Mongolia, El Salvador, Tobago, Peru, and Brazil. At age 68, Dr Ritchey once again answered his nation's call and was reactivated by the U.S. Army. He was honored to provide his surgical talents in the Combat Support Hospital Baghdad, Iraq during some of the worst Sunni uprisings of the war. Several years after his return, he developed pulmonary fibrosis and underwent a lung transplant before succumbing to lung cancer. Anyone who knew Phil has an appreciation for his never ending inquisitive nature and adventurous spirit. An avid aviation enthusiast and pilot, he also enjoyed boats of all kinds. He was very active in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxillary and performed many missions flying and boating along the east coast to provide assistance to seaman in distress. In 2006 he organized an effort with four of his West Point classmates to sail around the world. They got as far as Australia when the boat experienced voyage-ending problems. They had great sailing until then. Phil had a natural knack for telling some of the best jokes. Anyone who heard his rendition of Uncle Hunter's Bengal Tiger Bicycle Club joke understands. He was a voracious reader who enjoyed a book on any subject or fantasy. He was also a dedicated runner, competing in marathons well into his 60's, and was a formidable opponent in a game of chess. He is survived by the love of his life of over 55 years, June H. Ritchey of Ponce Inlet, FL; two sons, COL (Retired) John Ritchey and his wife, Beth, of Atlanta, GA and James Ritchey of Los Angeles, CA; grandchildren, Emily, Chris and Jackson Ritchey of Los Angeles, CA, Tradd Ritchey of Charleston, SC and Miles Ritchey of Atlanta, GA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Duke Medical University or to . Memorial messages may be written to the family by visiting our website at http://www.sullivanshighland.com. Please visit www.Lohmanfuneralhomes.com



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Funeral Home
Lohman Funeral Home Port Orange
1201 Dunlawton Ave Port Orange, FL 32127
(386) 761-1100
Funeral Home Details
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Sept. 1, 2013
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