Carnations 6
Official Obituary of

Claire Ritchey

October 23, 1927 ~ November 10, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Claire Ritchey Obituary

Claire Sylvia Ritchey was born in Bassano, Alberta October 23, 1927 the youngest of 9 children to Philip and Magdalena Reimche. Her mother died of illness when she was young. Her father remarried and 2 half-sisters and 3 stepbrothers were added to the family.  

Most of Claire’s schooling was in Kelowna, BC at Rutland Elementary School, and Okanagan Adventist Academy with her final year of high school at Canadian Junior College in Lacombe Alberta. Claire enjoyed her year at CJC very much. She was very involved in music, played in the band, sang and was a self-taught pianist and eventually organist. Before she could complete her grade 12 she returned to Kelowna where she married her high school sweetheart, Don Ritchey, who had just returned from serving overseas. Claire and Don were blessed with 3 children, Landon, Jerrold and Lynn, while living in the Kelowna area. 

Claire took an accounting course and worked many years in various accounting bookkeeping functions. Prior to retirement Claire was the bookkeeper for Sutherland Hills nursing home all the while maintaining the books for the family Sawmill business, DR Sawmills in Grindrod. Claire and Don were very active in their local church with Claire playing piano and organ, organizing programs and being active in the community services department. Don and Claire built several homes with the last one high on a mountain side overlooking Kelowna. With Don’s health declining, in 2008 they moved to Lacombe, Alberta to be near family. Claire was always bothered that she had not finished Grade 12, so after being given credit for much life experience and taking several courses at Parkview Adventist Academy, she received her diploma in 2013 at age 85.

After Don’s passing, Claire moved to Lakeside Manor in Salmon Arm where she made many friends.  Never idle she loved tending her flowers, bird watching, trivia sessions, exercise time, and word puzzles. Her real passion was organizing a weekly hymn sing for the residents. She enjoyed visits from her family; children, grandchildren and great grandchildren relying on them increasingly as her health declined. Needing more care, Claire moved into Bastion Place where she passed to her rest Friday, November 10.  

Claire is survived by half-sisters Gail and Brenda, stepbrother Ray, 3 children, Landon (Karen), Jerrold (Cecelia), Lynn (Dave) Rhynard, extended family Arnie (Lori) Schneider, 6 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren.

It was Claire’s desire to see all her family again soon when the trumpet sounds on the resurrection morning. A memorial service is scheduled for December 3 at 1 pm at the Salmon arm SDA Church.  Memorial donations are gratefully accepted to the Shuswap Adventist School worthy student fund.

The family thanks Drs. Laura and Keith Hepburn, Brenda from Mental Health Services, Lakeside Manor staff, Salmon Arm Hospital health personnel, and the Care Aides at Bastion Place for their kindnesses shown to Claire.

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