John R. Ritter, 62, of Neffs died April 16, 2013 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he received the very best of care for complications related to a bone marrow transplant for cancer.
John was born and raised as one of a family that settled in the Lehigh Valley in 1731. Clarence and Arline Ritter, his parents, eventually moved to Allentown’s West End where he attended Muhlenberg Elementary School and Raub Junior High and graduated from Allen High School in 1968. He was proud of his Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, was a student of his family’s history and a believer in the values he was taught.
He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, and later graduated from East Stroudsburg University. He worked at various jobs before deciding to teach high school English.
He loved his students and worked hard to create a caring and challenging learning environment for them. He retired in 2010 from Parkland High School after teaching for 30 years.
Because he cared about his colleagues and his profession, he was active in the Parkland Education Association as a building representative, negotiator and president. He was also active in the Pennsylvania State Education Association.
John’s interest in politics went far beyond education. He believed that Pennsylvania needed common sense solutions to problems that would preserve the quality of life that he experienced while growing up and so he ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 187th district.
He loved the outdoors, especially a family home in the Poconos and his big back yard where he could care for a large garden.
Survivors: John is survived by his wife, Lynn Burner Ritter; sons, Dr. Seth Ritter and wife Rebecca Taylor, of Pittsburgh and granddaughters Annabel and Eliza; Michael Ritter and wife Meredith Mulcahy of Boston, and Zacchary Ritter and Sharon Kang of Baltimore; a brother Dr. Robert C. Ritter and wife, Susan, of Viola, ID and their sons Joshua and Lincoln Ritter of Brooklyn.
He is also survived by the loving Burner family; father-in-law and mother-in-law, George and Marie; brothers-in-law, George Robert, Harry, and Gary and their families; an aunt Miriam Unangst Ritter; cousins Robert V. Ritter and wife Susan and their children Robert V. Ritter III and Sara, all of the Lehigh Valley, Carl Schmoyer and his wife Deborah, Judy Labenberg and their families.
Services: Friends and family may visit 6-9 p.m. Friday and 9-10 a.m. Saturday In Trexler Funeral Home, 1625 Highland Street, Allentown. The service will follow Saturday’s calling hour. Interment will take place at St. Paul’s Church Cemetery, Trexlertown.
Contributions: In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Christ Lutheran Church, 1245 Hamilton St., Allentown, PA 18102.