In Loving Memory
July 03, 1921 – February 04, 2015
June Kenzel Ritchey (nee Pettit), 93, passed away on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 in Spanish Fort, Alabama. June was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey and attended Bloomfield High School where she met the Love of her Life, Norman Blair Ritchey in Miss Dunn’s algebra class in 1935 when Norman first arrived at Bloomfield High School. Norman says that he was late for class and Miss Dunn was mad at him. He saw a brunette-haired girl smile at him and he thought that she liked him. Now, Norman thinks that June was just amused by the nerd getting in trouble! Their friendship grew during their collaboration on high school theatre productions until Norman left for WWII. Then, they wrote letters back and forth to each other while Norman was stationed in the South Pacific.
June attended Bradford and Mills Colleges, worked for the Red Cross during the war and taught as a teacher in New York City and on Long Island. Norman showed up at June’s childhood home in Bloomfield upon his return from the war, in full uniform, looking very dapper. June was covered in dirt, gardening in her backyard, as she looked up at him. June was leaving to visit her relatives in Canada, and Norman asked permission to drive her back. June’s mother agreed, on condition that they make the drive in one day (no overnights). On the way back from Canada, Norman proposed and June accepted. They married on November 16, 1946 and remained married for over 68 years. (Norman says that he was in love with June for 79 years, but it took June a little longer to fall in love with him!)
Together, they built their own home in Huntington Station, Long Island, New York, where they lived their entire married life together. They boated on Long Island Sound with their cabin cruisers named Utter Confusion and Carefree; they flew throughout the US/Mexico/ Canada and the Caribbean in their Piper Cherokee 6337 Juliet and they traveled the world together, often marveling at the sheer number of cruise ships on which they had seen the world. June was an avid golfer and always up for her adventures with Norman including hot air ballooning, soaring in an ultra-light, gliding, aqua-planing , snow skiing and even riding on a wave-runner and on a dolphin in her 80’s. June loved working with children, arts and crafts, sewing club, adventure, ancient civilizations, travel and being the life of a party. She was vivacious and loved whirligigs in her backyard and number puzzles. She told everyone that she was born on 7/3 and 7 times 3 equals 21 which is the year she was born!
June is survived by her husband, Norman, and by their 3 children: Cynthia Exner (Debbie), Wendy Ritchey-Helbing (Michael) and N. Blair Ritchey (Bonnie); by their 5 grandchildren: Kristan Kenzel Exner, John E. Exner, IV (fiancée Jessica), Capt. Garrett J. Exner (Michele), Joseph Helbing and Florence Helbing; and their 2 great-granddaughters: Peyton Exner and Isla Exner (and by their 3rd unborn great grandchild due in May).
A memorial service will be held at 2:30pm on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at Westminster Village in the Pete Allen Room, 500 Spanish Fort Blvd, Spanish Fort, AL 36527. The family welcomes your shared memories, stories and outpouring of love. Expressions of condolence may be offered at www.hughesfh.com. Arrangements are by Hughes Funeral Home and Crematory, 7951 American Way, Daphne, AL 36526.