Dr. Richard C. Ritzinger (Dick) age 89 died peacefully at his home in River Falls on Sunday, March 29. Dick practiced Optometry in River Falls for 50 years. He enjoyed golf and fishing, especially his annual fishing trips to Canada.
He was a lifelong volunteer. He participated in the Lion’s Club, Red Cross, Pierce Co. youth services and served as the river Falls Hospital Chairman. He was a 60-year member of the American Legion. Post 121. He was also member of St. Bridget’s Catholic Church.
Dick was born in Chippewa Falls, WI on November 21, 1925. He was the youngest of seven children born to Louis and Jessie (Hanson) Ritzinger. He attended Notre Dame grade school and graduated from McDonnell Memorial High School in 1943. He enlisted in the Navy, June 1, 1943 where he served as an aviation radioman on a torpedo bomber aboard the USS Bairoko (CVE-115) in the Pacific Theater. He remembered being in the middle of the Pacific, preparing for a ground assault on Japan, when they got the news that bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Thanks to the GI Bill, he was able to complete undergraduate work at Marquette University and UW-Eau Claire, and went on to graduate from Northern Illinois college of Optometry in 1950 with a Doctor of Optometry.
He married Sarah Hill (Mark and Paul) in 1949 and moved to River Falls to start an Optometric practice in November of 1950. After a divorce he married Norma (Moen) Weldon, in 1963 (Dawn and Lori). He married Jane Petricka, July 16, 1993,
His son, Mark joined him in practice in 1976.
He is survived by his wife, Jane, sons Mark (Jean) and Paul, daughters Dawn Wang (Tom) all of River Falls and Lori Burks (Jeff) of Hackensack, MN. Stepchildren, Tom Petricka of St. Paul and Barb Johnson, of River Falls, numerous nieces and nephews.
Grandchildren, Justin (Amei) and Bridget Ritzinger, Jessica (Doug) Foss, Amy (Adam) Larson, and Heidi Wang, Alex, Alina, and Austin Burks. Step-grandchildren, Laurie (Steve) McNamera, Amy (Jerry) Behrends and Sarah (Greg) Tassi and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers and sisters, along with two previous wives, Sarah and Norma.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 AM Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at St Bridget Catholic Church, River Falls. Visitation will start at 9:00 AM until the start of Mass. Interment at Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be given to St. Bridget’s Catholic Church.
Cashman-Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Service of River Falls is assisting the family.