9/1/2018 7:30:00 AM
Alice Ritchie, age 87, of Rhinelander, died Aug. 26, 2018 at the Grace Lodge in Rhinelander. Alice was born Oct. 25, 1930 in Hiles, to Joseph and Clara (Rasmussen) James.
Alice grew up in Hiles during the Great Depression where her home had no electricity or running water. She and her siblings would earn a penny a pail to walk half a mile to a well to fetch water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. When she was young, she picked rocks out of her family's fields and walked long distances in all kinds of weather to retrieve the cows.
Alice's hard work at home helped her become a gifted athlete during her youth. She was even chosen to play on the Hiles High School basketball team as an eighth grader! She attended Hiles School through grade school but attended Crandon High school when Hiles closed for the war. Unfortunately, Crandon High did not offer sports for girls during those years. Nevertheless, she was an excellent student, participated in student government, and was well respected by her teachers and peers. In her freshman year, she met her high school sweetheart, Wallace (Wally) Ritchie who became captain of the football team and class president. They were voted Prom King and Queen in their senior year. They graduated high school in 1948 and were married that December.
Wally and Alice had four children. One perished at birth. They were an excellent team. Together, they worked on many building and landscaping projects for themselves and others. Alice was a dedicated partner whose hard work and support assisted in her husband's success. Wally was actively involved in the community, which could not have been possible without Alice's support and independence in caring for projects in the home and with their children.
Alice led an active life and was a woman of many talents and avocations. She worked hard inside and outside the home and was very involved in the lives of her children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She sewed clothes and costumes for Halloween and her children's school plays. She even sewed uniforms for an entire basketball team of about 15 girls. She made bathrobes, pajamas, dresses, and more for her children and grandchildren, and knitted socks, hats, scarves and sweaters. She built sets for school plays, and attended sports games, meets, and performances. She was a good cook and satisfied the sweet tooth of her husband with her many desserts. Among the family favorites are her homemade fudge and apple crisp with apples from her garden.
Alice is survived by her husband Wallace; her children, Lorrie (David) Bur and Craig (Delyn) Ritchie; her grandchildren, Jody (Timothy), Jaime (John), Kate (Daniel), Megan (Michael), Mark (Katie), Travis, Alicia, Lydia and Mitchell; great-grandchildren, Haylie and Aidin; her sisters Marie Mahner and Marjorie Newman, her brother Monte (Dora) James, nieces, nephews, other family and many friends. She was preceded in death by two daughters, Joan Stefonek and Jean Ritchie; four sisters, Iris, Ila, Ruth and Violet, and her two brothers Arvin and Allen.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. Visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. at the church. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Ritchie family.
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