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Rodger Ritchie

Funeral celebration of life services for Rodger Ritchie, who passed away Friday, November 4, 2022 at the Lenox Care Center, will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at the Cummings Family Funeral Home in Bedford at 10:30 AM. Visitation will be at the Cummings Family Funeral Home in Bedford on Monday from 3 to 7 PM with the family greeting friends from 5 to 7 PM. Instead of flowers the family requests memorials be directed to the Bedford Booster Club.  Memories can be shared with the family at  Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Lenox, where we ‘Celebrate Life’.
Rodger (with a ‘D’) Kyle Ritchie was born August 23, 1936, in Eagle Grove, Iowa, the son of Donald Allen Ritchie and Pearl Irene (Fonken) Ritchie. He grew up in a family with two brothers, Wesley and Berk, and two sisters, Dodi and Marge. As a child, the entire family was involved in selling foot-long hot dogs at surrounding carnivals and county fairs. Rodger attended elementary and junior high school in Des Moines. When Rodger was a sophomore, the family moved to West Des Moines where he attended Valley High School, graduating with the class of 1954. While in high school, Rodger excelled in basketball. It was at this time that he met Loretta Barnett, who will tell you in her own words, “I chased him until I caught him!” The couple were united in marriage on February 25, 1956. Rodger was attending Drake University, graduating in 1958 with his bachelor’s degree. He went on to teach and coach in various communities through out Iowa. Loretta will tell you they lived in 10 different houses in the first 10 years of their marriage! They were blessed with the birth of four children, Kevin, Sara, Alan and Molly. He went on to obtain his master’s degree at the University of South Dakota and his specialist degree from the University of Missouri.
In 1972 the family moved to Bedford where he became high school principal. In 1978 after obtaining his specialist degree, he took a position in northwest Iowa where he was superintendent for the Terril Community School District for 20 years. In 1998 the couple retired and returned to Bedford to help their son Alan in the funeral business. Rodger and Loretta enjoyed traveling to Wyoming to visit family, taking several Caribbean cruises and frequenting local casinos for their ‘investment money’. They enjoyed a quiet, simple life with many of their grandchildren in and out of their home. Rodger served on the Bedford School Board for numerous years and was a member of the Bedford United Methodist Church. He was inducted into the Iowa Administrator’s Hall of Fame and was also a long-time member of the Bedford Lions Club.
Coffee at Godfather’s became a daily routine for the couple, where the men ‘shared wisdom’ from their table and the women often rolled their eyes regarding that wisdom from their table! In 2020 the couple downsized and moved to Vintage Park in Lenox where they continued to enjoy their simple life.
Left to cherish Rodger’s memory are his loving wife of 66 years, Loretta Ritchie of Lenox, Iowa; two children, Alan Ritchie and wife Kristi of Lenox, Iowa; and Molly Stewart and husband Al of Pleasant Hill, Iowa; eight grandchildren, Jill, Walt, Beth, Kyle, Jeff, Kara, Tara and Kirsten; 18 great-grandchildren; a sister, Marge Stilwell and husband George of West Des Moines, Iowa; two brothers-in-law, JD Creger of Dillon, Montana; and Fred Barnett and wife Liz of Grays Lake, Illinois; a daughter-in-law, Debbie Ritchie of Bedford; along with several nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Preceding Rodger in death are his two children, Kevin and Sara; his granddaughter, Shanda; his parents Donald and Pearl; two brothers, Wesley and Berk; a sister, Dodi; his in-laws, Howard and Sylvia Barnett; a sister-in-law, Carolyn Creger; and a nephew, Danny Creger.

Even though he had been retired for many years,
Rodger continued to have a passion for education.
May he be at peace in God’s loving care.


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