Samuel Ward Ritchie, formerly of Michigan, died at 9:17 a.m. Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at Miller’s Oak Pointe, Columbia City, where he had been a resident since April.
He was born on Aug. 20, 1927, in Benton Harbor, Mich. a son of Samuel and Katherine (Kennedy) Ritchie. He attended Flint Central High School and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1944. Ritchie served with the 4th Marine Division in Hawaii and Okinawa at the end of World War II and remained in Marine Corps Reserve until 1950.
Returning to Michigan, he attended Western Michigan College of Education and graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Ritchie married Carolyn Sink on Nov. 27, 1952, and worked at the Fisher Body Plant #1 in Grand Rapids, before moving to Benton Harbor to work for the Whirlpool Corporation as a process engineer. He moved to St. Joseph in 1957, where he worked for Bendix and taught evening apprenticeship training classes for Lake Michigan College at St. Joseph High School. After attending Saturday classes in Kalamazoo, he earned his Master’s degree in 1963 in Guidance and Counseling.
His next job was as the Director of Apprenticeship Training at Jackson Community College, before becoming the Associate Dean of Applied Arts & Sciences at Ferris State College in Big Rapids. In June of 1973, he was hired by the Van Buren Intermediate school district to be the Director of the new Skills Center being built in Lawton, Michigan. He moved to Chicago in 1976 to work at Harry Truman College, part of the City Colleges of Chicago, before becoming the assistant to the President of the University of Illinois, Chicago campus.
His next position was at Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he worked as an administrator before retiring and moving to Decatur, Mich. with his wife.
He was a long time member of the Elks, the Civitan International, and the Masons.
Surviving relatives include his son, William S. (Patty) Ritchie of Omaha, Neb.; and daughters; Marcia (Dan) Stauffer of Columbia City; and Darlene Ritchie of Hersey, Mich.; a sister, Katherine Wheatley of Sunrise, Fla.; and three grandsons; Tyler Ritchie, Miles Ritchie and Drew Ritchie.
Mr. Ritchie was preceded in death by his wife.
An interment service will be scheduled for a later date at Hartford, Michigan.
Local arrangements are by Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City.