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Died November 5, 2012 peacefully in Charlotte, NC at the age of 96. She was born in Battle Creek, MI. She loved art and attended The Chicago Art Institute. She studied dress design and later worked for a wholesaler in Chicago. She was married to Stark Ritchie and lived in Washington, DC for over 30 years. They enjoyed golf, travel, horses, oil wells, and especially the company of many friends and children of friends. Arvella had a radiance and positiveness that attracted people to her. She was genuinely interested in everyone she met, always listened intently, and had a complimentary word.
She moved to Charlotte, NC in 2003 and made her residence with her granddaughter, Katherine Harkness. She made many friends there, enjoyed vacations at the beach, and loved their dog, Daisy.
She is survived by her daughter, Ruth Harkness of Ipswich, MA, grandchildren, Katherine Harkness of Charlotte, NC, Tom Harkness of Charlotte, NC, and Andrew Harkness of Ipswich, MA
Arvella was known for her elegance and beauty. Her jet black hair, red lipstick and red nail polish were a given. Her legacy is the example of the life she lived which was a life of joy and love. Services private.

Published in The Washington Post from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, 2012