Audrey RitterPublished on April 1, 2021 Visit Funeral Home Website
Audrey M. Ritter, 78, of Ephrata, passed away on Friday, March 19, 2021 at Ephrata Manor Retirement Community. Born in Ephrata, she was the daughter of the late Erma Keemer Flickinger (wife of the late Clair Flickinger) and the late Carl Y. Martin (husband of the late Mary Martin). She was the loving wife of the late Robert E. Ritter, with whom she would have shared 60 years of marriage this December.
Audrey graduated from Ephrata High School in 1960, where she played field hockey and basketball. After school, Audrey started working at Dutchmaid in Ephrata, where she fell in love “at first sight” with Robert (or “Bob” as known to his family and friends). Bob and Audrey married in December of 1961 and thereafter Audrey worked throughout her life as: a seamstress at the former Hemericks factory in Denver; an aide at Landis Homes; an in-home caregiver; an aide for the daycare at Grace Evangelical Church in Akron; and an owner of her dog grooming business (“A & B Dog Grooming”). As an adult, Audrey attended Reading Area Community College and received an Associate Degree in Arts in 1985.
Audrey lived in Lancaster County all of her life and was a member of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ. Over the years, Audrey and Bob moved to Ephrata, Neffsville, Reamstown and Akron. She enjoyed spending time visiting with family and friends, and attending church functions, school or sporting events for her children, grandchildren and great-grand child. She and Bob spent many vacations at the beach and traveled extensively within the United States, as well as the Caribbean, Bahamas and 14 countries in Europe. Audrey loved to fix-up and decorate her home, as well as work outside in the yard. She also enjoyed collecting stamps and coins. One of her many talents was putting puzzles together, and she framed and hung many on the walls for everyone to admire. In addition, Audrey had such a big heart and enjoyed giving back to the community and caring for others. She walked at several Relay for Life events; donated to the American Cancer Society; welcomed two (2) German exchange students and one (1) Asian exchange student into her home; and participated as a “Big Sister of America.”
In Spring of 2017, Audrey was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), which explained her increased blurred vision and loss of balance. This condition was making it more difficult to live in their home. So, in May of 2019, Audrey and Bob moved into Ephrata Manor. Initially, they were enjoying retirement life. But Audrey became weaker, and eventually Bob became her caregiver. Unfortunately, in September 2020, Audrey’s condition declined rapidly, and they were forced to move her into skilled care at Ephrata Manor. Both Audrey and Bob were deeply saddened by the separation. They had rarely been separated during the almost 60 years of marriage. Audrey continued to fight the battle with her disease over the last seven (7) months, but along with the grief from Bob’s passing on February 9, 2021, the disease was too much for her to overcome.
She will be remembered as a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, niece, aunt, cousin and friend; and she will truly be missed.
Surviving is a son, Michael S., husband of Alice M. Ritter of Ephrata; a daughter, Beth A., wife of Terry L. Redcay of Ephrata; four grandchildren: Andrew Redcay of Ephrata, fiancé of Amanda Lucas of Lancaster; Aaron, husband of Antenea Redcay of Ephrata; Rebekah, wife of Adam Shedal, Orwigsburg; and Brittany Ritter of Ephrata; one great-grandchild, Daniel Shedal of Orwigsburg; stepmother, Mary, wife of the late Clair Flickinger of Ephrata; step brother, Kip, husband of Linda Bowers of Blandon; two brothers-in-law: Richard, husband of Michelle Ritter of Ephrata; Glenn, husband of Cheryl Ritter of New Holland; along with many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and stepparents; sister: Barbara, formerly the wife of Bart Laukhuff of New Holland; and two stepsisters: Royetta Batz, and Betty Trembley; and numerous aunts and uncles.
A memorial visitation will be held for both Audrey and Bob on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at St. Paul’s Evangelical Congregation Church, 46 East Church Street, Reamstown (Stevens), PA 17578. Family and friends will be received from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and again from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, 2021.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Audrey’s memory may be made to Hospice & Community Care, 685 Good Drive, Lancaster, PA 17604 or Ephrata Manor, 99 Bethany Road, Ephrata, PA 17522.