Military veteran

Walter E. Ritz, 87, died Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010.

He was born March 20, 1923, in Belvidere, Kan., son of Benjamin F. and Clara A. Fulk Ritz. He and Katherine Marie Payne were married Aug. 17, 1947.

He graduated from Licking High School in 1943 and worked on a farm in northern Missouri after being rejected for military service because of a physical problem. He later went to work for Meadow Gold Dairies in St. Joseph for one year. After solving his medical issue, he joined the Army in 1945 and was discharged in September 1946.

He worked at the Chevrolet plant in St. Louis and for a building contractor in Albuquerque, N.M. After returning to Missouri, he and his wife ran a concession stand in Sportsmans Park in St. Louis for two seasons. He worked for a St. Louis paint contractor for five years before working at Fort Leonard Wood. He retired in 1987 after 25 years of service. He helped his wife in a part-time role on her mail route.

After moving back to the Licking area, he attended Rock Springs Baptist Church for several years before helping organize Sunday school and training union at Mt. Olive Baptist Church.

He was ordained as a deacon. In the past year, he helped establish a new church, Abounding Hope Baptist Church, at the old Licking Motor building.

Ritz served as a founding father and deacon of the church.

He loved to contribute to the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home and Shriners Hospital for Children. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Licking and served in many offices as long as his health would permit.

Survivors include his wife, Marie; a son, Stanley; a daughter, Nedra; two grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two sisters, Frieda Adey and Carolyn Ryno; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services were Sunday, Oct. 31, at Fox Funeral Home Chapel with Pastors Kendall Ford, James Miller, Kenneth Gibson and Phillip McGuire officiating. Burial was in Rock Springs Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Missouri Baptist Children’s Home or Shriners Hospital for Children. Online condolences may be made at

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