James E. Ritter

Published 5:09 pm Monday, March 25, 2024

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COURTLAND – James “Jim” Edward Ritter, age 76, passed away Sunday March 24, 2024, at his home in Courtland surrounded by the ones he loved. Jim was born Oct. 12, 1947 to Bill and Margie Ritter in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He grew up with his older brother, Tom, younger brother, Dennis “Dit” and his younger sister, Sandy. Jim graduated from Allen High School in Allentown and immediately went into the United States Air Force. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Eileen, when both were only teenagers at the city swimming pool. Af

James E. Ritter

ter the Air Force, Jim went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Kutztown University which would start his love for teaching.

Jim and Eileen moved to Virginia in 1974 where they both began working for the public school systems. Jim was employed by Southampton County Public School System where he went on to spend the entirety of his career primarily at Hunterdale Elementary School. Jim’s style of teaching was “creative” even in his own time with a focus not on lesson plans or standardized tests, but on bringing learning to life for the benefit of his students. He’s known for his nature walks, science experiments, playing together in recess with his students, cowboy boots, jean jackets and for his coffee. Teaching was the passion of his life and he loved nothing more than teaching, caring for, and loving his students.

It was also during this time at Hunterdale where he would meet his lifelong best friend, Rod Phelps. Rod was a history teacher and they immediately bonded. They loved searching for Civil War relics, going to baseball card shows and always enjoying each other’s company. Along with collecting things, Jim was an avid musician being proficient with guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, piano and many other instruments. He enjoyed all types of music from bluegrass, country, blues, and rock and could play any song by ear after only hearing it a couple times. He would later continue his teaching by teaching guitar to many people in the area.

Jim is predeceased by his wife, Eileen, both his parents, Bill and Margie Ritter and his sister Sandy Anthony.

Left to cherish his memory are his son and daughter-in-law Andy and Amanda; his brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Maxine; his brother and sister-in-law Dennis and Debbie; his two grandsons Garrett Seal and Gannon Ritter; nieces, Trichelle Moxley and Jeannette Ricks; his nephews, Thomas, Zack and Nathan Ritter and many beloved friends and students.

In lieu of flowers, to honor Jim’s life, give a child a hug, turn on some music and soak it in, but most of all, live life your own way and make the most of it.