John T. Ritondo
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John T. Ritondo, Sr. passed away peacefully on November 10, 2020 at 89 years of age. Survivors include his wife, Rose Elwell Ritondo; two daughters, Lisa Browning (Jim) and Lori Warren (Eddie); a son, John T. Ritondo, Jr. (Cecilia); ten grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Mr. Ritondo is preceded in death by his parents, Anita and Sam Ritondo. John was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania. He joined the United States Army at eighteen years old, and he served in the Korea War. After the Korean War, he was sent to Fort McClellan, where he met his wife, Rose, and came to love Alabama and the Southern customs and food. John often said, "Let's keep Alabama a secret so people won't move to Alabama." John was one of the first Command Sergeant Majors in the Army Chemical Corps. After serving in Fort McClellan, Virginia, Texas, Germany, and New Jersey (where he retired from the Army), he said that it was time to go home to Alabama. He truly loved Alabama. After retiring, John attended Jacksonville State University, where he received his Masters degree in Education. He eventually began teaching history at Weaver High School in Weaver, Alabama. Prior to that, he managed a little league baseball team and became president of the Weaver Parent Teachers Association. John taught for a while before becoming Guidance Counselor for the high school. He loved being a counselor. He worked every summer on student schedules so that, on the first day of school, everything would go great with every student having their schedule ready. As Guidance Counselor his goal was to get as many scholarships as possible for the graduating students. When he heard how they were educated as doctors, lawyers, nurses, and teachers, he was pleased. John also taught his students that college was only one way to go, but one could be as successful without a degree. He was happy when he would meet former students who were successful no matter what path they chose. John was also an adjunct professor at Jacksonville State University. While at Fort McClellan, John was active in the Catholic Church and became the Sunday School and Catholic Catechism Director. His hobby was becoming an avid stamp collector. Starting at the age of seven, he accumulated a very large collection and was so proud of those stamps. Up until his illness, he continued collecting new stamps. Just recently he told Rose how much he missed his children and grandchildren, and, before his sudden illness, he was determined to see them soon and get to hold his great-grandchildren. The family would like to thank John's friends, former students, and caregivers. He received many Facebook friend posts, and we were able to read some to him. Thank you all and God bless. The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that contributions be made to Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 16 Morton Road, Anniston, Alabama 36205. Online condolences may be made to the family at K.L. Brown Memory Chapel 620 Golden Springs Road Anniston, AL 36207 256-231-2334

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Published in The Anniston Star on Nov. 13, 2020.
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3 entries
November 13, 2020
John and I arrived at Fort McClellan in early 1953 from Korea. I was 20 John was 21. I taught John how to drive in an old 1949 Buick I had bought with back combat pay. We were promoted to SGT and SFC at the same time. The Army separated us in late 1953, but we stayed in touch for a long time. John was a special person. He did wonders with the life with which our Lord blessed him, considering the modest start in life he had in Pittston, PA. I wish Rose and the family all the spiritual, emotional and physical strength they need at this trying time in their lives.
John Richardson
November 13, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Nancy A MOLINO Hufstetler
November 12, 2020
John was a fine, fine man. He was a classmate when we were both in the counselor education program at JSU in the early 70s. John didn’t speak up that often. However, when John spoke, people listened listened. He was always dynamic in his approach to any issue. I was honored to know John.
Jerry D. Smith
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