Vivian Ilene Ritz, 74, of Comstock went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, July 17, 2012, at the Valley County Health System Hospital.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 20, 2012, at the Wescott Baptist Church in Comstock. The Rev. Don Schauda will officiate. Burial will be in Douglas Grove Cemetery in Comstock. Visitation will be Thursday from 1-4 p.m. at the Ord Memorial Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the Wescott Baptist Church or the Comstock Den. Ord Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Vivian was born Nov. 13, 1937, to Arthur and Genevieve (Rathbun) Pierson at their home in Arcadia. She was the oldest of four children, having two sisters and one brother. The family moved to the farm near Balsora, south of Arcadia, in the 1940â€™s and she attended Balsora Country School. She would go on to graduate from Arcadia High School with the class of 1955.
The Pierson family attended Balsora Baptist Church, where at age 7, Vivian accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior while attending Bible School.
Following graduation from High School she taught school at Mixed Grove country school in Sherman County and at the Ord Yale School of Valley County. Vivian also received schooling at Kearney State College for one summer and attended Bethel College in St. Paul, Minn. for one year.
In the fall of 1957, Vivian met Ron Ritz when her father, Art, hired Ron and his father, Harry, to harvest corn. Less than one year later, Aug. 31, 1958, the Calvary Baptist Church of Arcadia was the setting for the wedding of Vivian to Ronald H. Ritz. To this union five children were born; Bryce, Ramona, James, Sterling and Eric.
They lived on a farm west of Arcadia until 1960, when they moved to the Ritz family farm east of Comstock. Vivian helped with milking cows and other assorted farm chores. She will be remembered for singing hymns while working in the kitchen and for praying for family and friends.
Vivian was an excellent cook and enjoyed cooking and baking for family, friends as well as church and community gatherings. Grandchildren will fondly remember her for angel food cakes on their birthdays. She also excelled in pie making.
Vivian and Ron became members of The Wescott Baptist Church in 1965, where she taught Sunday School, sang solos and with groups and was known for her dedicated prayer life. She was also a member of the Homemakers Extension Club of Arcadia for 53 years, the Helping Hands Extension Club of Ord, Comstock American Legion Auxiliary and the Red Hat Society. She also played Bridge with a ladies group and often made coffee at The Den.
She and Ron traveled to Switzerland in 1983, the year of their 25th wedding anniversary. Vivian later made additional trips to Europe with family members. Ron passed away May 27, 1997, at the age of 65. Four years later, in 2001, Vivian moved into Comstock where she resided until her death.
Vivian was preceded in death by her husband, Ron; her parents; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Harry and Lilly (Knoephil) Ritz, and by one brother-in-law, Fred Gardner.
Surviving Vivian are son Bryce Ritz and wife Rosemarie of Arcadia, daughter Ramona and husband Monty Kirby of Comstock, son James Ritz of Arcadia, son Sterling Ritz and wife Deborah of Comstock, and son Eric Ritz of Comstock. Survivors also are two sisters, Carolyn and husband Gary Babcock of Waverly, and Anita and husband Steve Davis of Omaha; brother, Drew Pierson and wife Judy of Bellevue; brother-in-law, Lynn Ritz and wife Jill; sisters-in-law, Norma Gardner, Sandy and husband Claris Sell, Janene and husband Max Cruikshank and Joan and husband Karney Williams. Vivian is also survived by 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren for whom she cared very deeply. She also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews, a host of friends and a caring church family.
Published in Custer County Chief, July 19, 2012