Robert William RitchieDecember 7, 1944 ~ November 11, 2017 (age 72)
Robert W. Ritchie passed from this life and went to his Heavenly Home on November 11, 2017. He was born on December 7, 1944 to Gordon and Helen Ritchie in Elko, Nevada. In 1945, Martinez, CA became his home and he lived there until he married his wife, Karen, in November 1970. They moved to Antioch where they raised their 4 children, Mark, Julie, Coleen, and Kimberly.
He was a loving husband, a wonderful father, and caring Papa to the grandkids. He overcame many health obstacles in his life but none as great as the struggles he faced after suffering two strokes in September of 2011. His body was weak but his spirit stayed strong. It was this same strong spirit that helped him through his teenage years when he was stricken with dermatomyocytis, a rare muscular disease. Even though he could not attend high school because of his inability to walk and other impacts of this disease, he worked hard with a home tutor and graduated with his class. He attended college at Cal State Hayward, receiving his degree in Business. Upon his graduation he found employment with Chevron, where he worked for 31 years as an accountant until his well earned retirement in July of 2001.
Through the years, Robert enjoyed several camping trips with his family to Yosemite, Lassen National Park, up the Oregon coast and the Crater Lake area. He loved nature and wildlife, especially while sitting around an open campfire with his family. His patience on these special trips was amazing. His kids were his focus and although he really wanted to fish in peace and quiet, he would take the kids fishing with him and never could fish himself because he was continuously baiting hooks, trying to get the kids lines untangled, or just keep the lines in the water. Everyone always had a great time, even if no fish were caught. Robert and his family made a lot of happy memories in tents and in their tent trailer.
Robert was an avid sports fan, following the 49ers, San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors. He also enjoyed soccer and coached his children’s youth soccer teams for 12 years as well as being a league referee.
After his kids were grown and he retired, his inner kid popped out. Robert and his wife Karen became annual pass holders at Disneyland and would start making frequent trips. They went 96 days during that first year! They both love all things Disney and never tired of visiting the Happiest Place on Earth.
He became involved in Disney pin trading and before he knew it he had so many that he started his own eBay store. He loved collecting the pins and trying to find the rarest of pins and enjoyed meeting other traders and helping them find the pins they were looking for. After his strokes, he could no long do his pin trading but he still loved to go to Disneyland. Through he was in a wheelchair during these trips, he was still able to get on some of his favorite rides.
A Celebration of Robert’s life will be held at noon on Saturday, December 2, at Higgins Chapel, 1310 A Street, Antioch, CA 94509. Guests are welcome to wear Disney attire in memory of Robert.
Memorial donations in memory of Robert can be made to Hospice or Alzheimer's association at @alz.org.