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BOZEMAN Roland A. Ritter, 95, of Bozeman, died from respiratory failure Dec. 29.
There will be private family services. Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cematary is handling arrangements.
He was born Feb. 25, 1917, the son of Sarah (Herman) and the Rev. Henry Ritter, on his parents' homestead north of Rudyard. He grew up attending Grace Evangelical Church of which his father was a founder. He attended grade school at Oreana School and graduated from Rudyard High School in 1935.
In the depression years, he was able to join the N.Y.A. program and learned the masonry trade. He attended one term of forestry school at University of Montana and then worked at Boeing in Seattle until he was drafted into the Army in 1942. He served in the Army Corps of Engineers as an instructor in topography at Fort Belvair, Va.
In 1945, Roland traveled to Bozeman to bring Gillette Obie back to the family farm, where they were married on Feb. 6 by his father, Henry. They lived their adult lives raising six children and bountiful crops.
Roland was active in the Rudyard community serving on numerous business and community boards. He especially enjoyed being a Boy Scout leader. He designed and built a memory wall at the Depot Museum in honor of the homesteaders and veterans with field stones engraved with the names of their families.
He cherished the years he was able to follow his grandchildren, as they participated in sports, music and theater.
In 2006, a condo was purchased in Bozeman, and Roland and Gillette lived there until he entered a care center in 2010. He was very appreciative of the care and attention received in later years from family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Clarence Ritter.
He is survived by his wife, Gillette; sons, Jerry and Ross (Rhonda); daughters, Lila (Ken) Heydon, Fay (Con) Johnson, Jean (Dennis) Konopatzke and Wanda Condon; 14 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; brother, Sam; and sister-in-law, Lucille.
Roland was foremost a man who had the ability to do anything. He was a farmer, a carpenter, a mason, a mechanic and a wonderful father to the six children he and Gillette raised on their farm. Many chimneys and buildings are still a reminder of the efforts he extended to the Rudyard Community.
So Dad, your kids are raised, the neighbors' chimneys are finished. You put a lot of good crops in the bin. Your work is done. We love you and will always miss you.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Jan. 2, 2013