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Johnny Ritter

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Johnny T. Ritter

Johnny Timothy "Tim" Ritter, age 54, of Lexington, Ala., passed away Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at Huntsville Hospital after a sudden illness. Mr. Ritter was a native of Lauderdale County, Ala., a full-time farmer, employed by TVA, a member of the Lauderdale Cattleman's Association, a member of the Alabama Cattleman's Association, and a member of Lexington Church of Christ. Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 2, 2014, at Loretto Memorial Chapel, Inc. Danny Pettus will be officiating. Burial will follow in Nebo Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. today at Loretto Memorial Chapel, Inc.

Survivors are wife, Jerre Lynn Masonia Ritter, Lexington, Ala.; one son, Colin Lloyd Ritter, Lexington, Ala.; and one daughter, Kayla Mae Ritter, Lexington, Ala.

She was preceded in death by father, John Lloyd Ritter, and mother, Zokie Mae Ritter.

Pallbearers are Terry Wright, Tony Ritter, Gerry Stevenson, Mark Hammond, Blake Williams, Kenny Wright, Max Scott, and Robert Corum.

Honorary pallbearers are David Masonia, Dennis Masonia, Brad Ritter, Russ Ritter, Curtis Ritter, Gerald Ritter, Ray Masonia, and Clyde Gamble.

The family would like to thank the rescue squad, AIREVAC, family, friends, and the staff at Huntsville Hospital for all the kindness show to us. Tim was a loving husband and father and also a friend to everyone he met. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

"So God Made a Farmer"

In 1978, Paul Harvey delivered the following speech to an FFA Convention:

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.

"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon - and mean it." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.

"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.

Loretto Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements, (931)853-6995.
Published in Florence Times Daily on May 1, 2014