- June 16, 1915 - November 25, 2010
- Dodge Center, Minnesota
of Russell's Passing
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Russell Edward Ritzler, 95, died on Thursday, November 25, 2010 at Wellington Adult Care
Home in Dodge Center, Minnesota where he resided for the past two years. He was born on June
16, 1915 in New Buffalo, Michigan to Edward and Florence Ritzler. On October 21, 1939, he
married Ellen Ruth Williamson in Three Oaks, Michigan.
He was formerly of Rolling Prairie, Indiana, where he retired after 35 years with Unocal
(formerly Pure Oil) in Palatine, Illinois. He began his career in the oil business in South Bend,
Indiana in 1941 with Pure Oil Company as a general office worker and advanced to Vice
President of Super Par Oil stations of the Midwest. When the company was transitioned to
Unocal, he moved to Palatine and became general manager of marketing where he worked until
1976. Before retirement, he and Ellen would travel to Indiana to help build their retirement home
in Rolling Prairie, Indiana where they lived for 25 years.
His hobbies included woodworking, wall papering, tile laying, gardening and golf. Russell was a
dedicated member of the Lions Club in South Bend and Rolling Prairie, Indiana and was a loyal
member of Rolling Prairie Methodist Church where he sang in the choir and served a term as
church treasurer. Since his youth, he was an avid New York Yankee fan. His love for baseball
began when he was active in the New Buffalo, Michigan amateur league. He later umpired in the
minor league system in the Midwest. He was also instrumental in the formation years of the
German Township Elementary School serving as its president for several years.
Russell is survived by his wife, Ellen; a son, Barry (Carolyn) Ritzler of Edison, New Jersey; a
daughter, Kathleen (Ronald) Hooley of Kasson, Minnesota; 5 grandchildren; 8 great-
grandchildren and one sister, Elaine Simpson of Muncie, Indiana.
Visitation will be held on Monday, November 29, 2010 from 12 noon to 1:00 pm at Kaniewski
Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive in South Bend, Indiana followed by a Funeral Service at
1:00 pm. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery
Memorial contributions may be directed to Rolling Prairie Methodist Church in Rolling Prairie,
Indiana or Wellington Adult Care Home in Dodge Center, Minnesota.
To send online condolences, please visit kaniewski.com