A Mass of Christian Burial for Thomas F. Ritzi, 79, of Ormond Beach, who passed away peacefully with his family by his side February 23, 2014 at his residence, will be celebrated Friday at 11:00 am at the Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 600 S. Nova Rd., Ormond Beach with Rev. Father Bill Zamborsky as celebrant. Friends wishing to call and pay their respects may do so Thursday from 5 pm until 7 pm at the Dale Woodward Funeral Home, 167 Ridgewood Ave., Holly Hill, FL. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Tom Ritzi may well be called a "Renaissance Man". He enjoyed ocean sailboat racing and cruising, had his pilot's license, was an abstract painter and gallery wood sculptor, author and professional musician. In addition, he was a lifelong tennis player and teaching professional and runner. Attending the University of Florida from 1952-1956, he went on to specialize, attending the Gemological Institute of America, which led him to his profession as co-owner of Wm. Ritzi & Co. Jewelers. This family-owned, downtown Daytona Beach business has been operated for 133 years. Tom is the inventor of the Gemological Institute of America Color Master, an internationally acclaimed colored gemstone grading instrument used worldwide. Inspired by an idea from Fr. Larry Redmond at Prince of Peace Church, Tom became the Founding President and shaped the structure of Family Renew Community for its initial five years. Tom personally reached out to 30 religious groups presenting the core concept for Family Renew Community, which became the initial financial support for the organization. Family Renew is celebrating 25 years in 2014, providing transitional housing to nearly 1,000 families with children. Tom also served on the Board of Family Renew Community for many years and an annual volunteer award is given in his honor. He was also President of the Halifax Kiwanis Club and President of the Musicians Union. He was a member of the Museum of Arts and Sciences Cultural Endeavors Board, and President of the American Gem Society of Florida. In lieu of other remembrances the family suggests donations be made in Tom's memory to either Family Renew Community, 810 Ridgewood Ave., Holly Hill, FL 32117 or Vitas Hospice, 2381 Mason Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32117. Survivors include his beloved wife of 57 years, Ann; two daughters, Cindy Arnaoutis (Tony), Ormond Beach and Susan Gardner (Calvin), Orlando; two sons, Bill (Rick Siclari), Miami and Steven (Christina), Tampa; one brother, David (Jean), Ormond Beach; eight grandchildren, Colin (Lauren), Cameron, Dimitri, Jamie, Kelly, Cal, Anna and James, one great grandchild, Blake Thomas. Condolences may be shared at http://www.dalewoodwardfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal from Mar. 2 to Mar. 5, 2014