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In Memory

Mike Ritchey

William Michael Ritchey

(March 12, 1945—March 29, 2016)


William Michael Ritchey, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, mentor, and friend, passed away on March 29, 2016, at his home in Mason, Texas, at the age of 71. Mike was welcomed into heaven and reunited with the love of his life, Mary Kyle Underwood Ritchey, who preceded him in death on December 13, 2014, and with whom he shared 33 wonderful years.

Mike was born in Dallas, Texas, to Dr. William Howard Ritchey and Mary Woods Ritchey, both of whom preceded him in death. He is survived by daughters Shannon Dezell and her husband, Sean; Jennifer Wofford and her husband, Kurt; and JoLynn Joyce and her husband, Wade Everitt; along with grandchildren Haley Dezell, Hannah Dezell, Heather Dezell, Hudson Dezell, Otto Wofford, and Ivan Wofford. He is also survived by his siblings David Ritchey and wife, Bonnie; Janet Cable and husband, Sam; and George Ritchey and wife, Kay, and many adoring nieces and nephews.

Mike graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in Bryan, Texas, in 1963 and was also a graduate of the Texas A&M University class of 1967, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets. He then graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1971. After earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, he entered the Air Force as a commissioned officer, where he received the Vietnam Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal for his service in Vietnam.

Dr. Mike Ritchey was a well-known member of the Huntsville community, where he was the founding partner of Ritchey-Moore Veterinary Clinic. He cherished being able to work alongside Dr. Mickey Moore, taking care of many animals (and their owners) in Walker County. He never met a stranger and developed many wonderful relationships. He was an active supporter of the Walker County Fair and mentored many youth in 4-H, as well as young students who wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

Following his retirement in 2011, Mike and Mary moved to Mason County and built their dream home on top of the hill, which they named Miracle Ranch, where they enjoyed retired life. He made many wonderful friends and became active in the community as a member of the Lions Club and The River of Life Church.

Mike was a true friend who was known for his gregarious personality; his loyalty to family, friends, and community; and his dedication to his Lord Jesus Christ. He left a lasting impression on all those who met him and will be missed dearly.

A casual gathering will be held at his home in Mason on Thursday, March 31st, at 6:00 pm.

A memorial service will be held at Northside Baptist Church in Huntsville, Texas, on Saturday April 2, 2016, at 10:30 am (address: 1207 FM 980, Huntsville, Texas 77320).

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to River of Life Church (address: 217 East College Avenue, Mason, Texas 76856), or to Kanakuk Ministries (address: Attn: Crystal Mitchell, 1353 Lakeshore Drive, Branson, Missouri 65616).

Mike’s entire family sends a heartfelt thank you to all for your kindness, support, love, and prayers.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Dr. William Michael “Mike” Ritchey please visit our Sympathy Store.

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04/02/16 10:48 AM #9    

Margaret Petroski (McAughan)

While I personally did not know him as well as some of you, I can say that Mike was one of those individuals that, when he was in the room, everyone knew it!  What a great personality!

04/02/16 11:42 AM #10    

Linda Garner (Adams Prock)

Mike was always a  shining light in the room. He brightened everyone's mood just by being there. I Especially enjoyed his playing the piano at out 50th reunion. He was overflowing with joy by contributing that part. Everyone loved Mike and Mike loved everybody. He will truly be missed.

04/02/16 08:05 PM #11    

Phil Cox

The news of Mike passing away reminds us all that we are mere mortals. As teenagers Mike and I attended MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) on Sunday evenings. Afterwards we would all go over to the regular church service. Mike would frequently get the whole pew of us giggling and laughing uncontrollably and at length. We couldn't stop it.
Mike nicknamed his father "Sunshine".

04/03/16 03:24 PM #12    

Jo Ann Blazek (Peters)

While I have to say that Mike was "full of it", he was such a good man and friend.  Certainly will miss that sweet boy.  


04/03/16 06:11 PM #13    

Irene Boatcallie

How wonderful it is to pause for a moment in life and reminisce about a special friend who was part of our journey in time.Thanks so much everyone for sharing such great stories of Mike. He is just one of those people that it was truly a blessing to have known. His presence imparted joy and laughter.

04/04/16 10:42 AM #14    

Arnold Wall

Mike represented the institutional memory of the class, in my mind. Upon greeting you, he could ramble into a series of tales funny, sad, significant or insignificant events that occurred back in the day. They sounded so good, they might have even been true. They always made you look good, funny, engaged. He will be missed.

04/04/16 12:57 PM #15    

Lila Wells (Stevens)

I am so sorry to hear that we have all lost Mike.  He was especially friendly and sweet to me when I first moved to Bryan in  9th grade.  He made me feel welcomed and I was so grateful for his friendship all the way thru school. I'm sorry I  did not keep up with him as I am sorry I did not keep up with those of you who were also so nice to me all the way thru school.  Thank you all and please know I have truly appreciated all the birthday wishes.  I will pray for Mike's children and grandchildren that they find comfort in all the wonderful and truly good things Mike did and was.  God bless

04/05/16 04:25 PM #16    

Dick Barron

There are some things in life you just aren't ready to hear, and Mike's passing was one of those things.  With no intent to belittle the greatness of Ralph and David and H. Davis, Mike was about the best Crockett Rockett this Travis Wildcat ever knew.  He was 100% full of it.  He made you smile.  He made you laugh.  I remember riding horses all over the Navasot.   Friday nights skinny dipping in the tank on his farm (there might have somehow been a beer involved .. I'm a little fuzzy on that)!  I remember 9th grade football -- I was the center and he was the qb.  He told coach Stub Davis he wanted me to center instead of (I believe) Randy Lucas because he liked the way his hand "fit" on my butt and he preferred the way I delivered the ball to his hand on my butt!!   I'm not sure if that was a complement or not but I was the starting center, and me and my butt were forever grateful!  I wish I'd have known him better as we aged.  I'd loved to have known him as a vet.  I can only imagine how tender he would have been with a person's beloved pet.  Mike was "always in".  100% on everything he did.  Totally engrossed in whatever it took.  Jarvis once told me he reminded him of Pete Rose.  Hard-nosed.  Dirty.  Gritty.  Sweaty. Hustle .... he would hard charge into whatever he did.  A good comparison.  I don't know if pratical joking is allowed in heaven but I bet I know one up there who will test the rule!  I've always felt The Good Lord had a good sense of humor and I bet Mike is putting a big smile on his face.  It wouldn't surprise me if he put him in charge of laughter.  RIP old friend.

04/06/16 10:48 AM #17    

Nelda Moon (Thompson)

I really wish there was a "LIKE" button on our page, because I would be hitting it on all your posts about Mike Ritchey. I couldn't even begin to say how very much he meant to all of us and what a vital part of the SFA Class of '63.

We go waayyy back to Crockett Elementary, when Mrs. Niederauer's Girl Scout Troop 25 took dance lessons from Manning Smith to earn our Dance Badge. We had to host a dance party and invite a boy to be our date for the evening. For some odd reason, I decided to invite Mike. I was SO nervous, because calling a boy for a date just wasn't kosher back then. Well, when I finally got the courage to ask him, he said, "Well, Mama always said, first come, first served, and since you're the first to ask, of course I'll go with you!" Well, I have to tell you I was given the royal treatment. His mom drove him over to pick me up, then we went back to his house where I met the whole family. I found out they were pretty "normal" (LOL). He even gave me a pretty little corsage. We had a great time and I will always remember my "first date" with that sweet goofball. Later on, after graduation, I was privileged to be a Caregiver for Mike's grandfather during his illness. He had a wonderful family and I was happy that I was able to be there for them during that difficult time.

But how could any of us ever forget RUNNING BEAR and LITTLE WHITE DOVE??!!! I do wish they could have performed for us one last time, but I don't think it would have measured up to the Shock and Awe of that first performance at the pep rally! My sides still hurt every time I think of it.

Mike Ritchey, you were a treasure here on earth and you are deeply missed by all who knew you. Thanks for the memories, and may you rest in peace.

04/06/16 01:36 PM #18    

Mike Burroughs

Mike was one of a kind--one of the finest people you could ever know. We went to different elmentary schools (Travis and Crockett), but I knew Mike long before that. There are some snapshots in my album taken at a party in our back yard, and Mike is in one, sitting on a hobby horse. The party was in May, 1949! I knew Mike from Sunday school and church from back then and remember his parents and David very well. One thing I can say is that if you were in a bad mood or down in the dumps about something, being around Mike for a few minutes would put an end to that. Before you knew it, you would be laughing. There was never a dull moment with Mike Ritchey. Those of you who went to Lamar and were at our 9th grade talent show in the gym will never forget the "dance" that Mike and Ralph Young did with Johnny Preston's Runnin' Bear playing. At the 50th anniversary reunion, there was some talk about trying to get Mike and Ralph to reprise their performance, but it didn't happen. It seems that there was some reluctance on their part. The memory of that performance so long ago is awesome! Mike is certainly missed--by probably more people than we realize., and a bright light has gone out of our lives. Rest in peace, old friend.

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