Funeral services for Martha Rittenbach, 93, of Merriman, Neb., will be Friday, June 14, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. at the Old American Legion in Martin, S.D.
Burial will be at the Merriman Cemetery in Merriman.
A memorial has been established. Donations may be sent to Bennett County Funeral Service, Box 65, Martin, SD 57551.
Bennett County Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements for Martha Rittenbach.
Martha Rittenbach, 94, of Merriman, Neb., formerly of Martin, S.D., peacefully left her earthly home to join Our Father in heaven, Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
She was born December 16, 1918, on the family farm near McClusky, N.D. As a young girl living with her family on the farm, she was educated in a rural school. Being good with numbers and writing, she helped her father, who was the local assessor. Growing up in a strong Bible-based family, she grew to love the Lord at a very young age, reading the Bible every evening to her parents and siblings.
On January 10, 1946, she married John C. Rittenbach in McClusky. They began their life together on a small farm outside of town where they had two children, a daughter, Karen, and a son, Gary. In 1950 they moved to a small farm six miles southwest of Martin, where they farmed until moving into town in 1960. In 1990 they sold their Martin home and moved to Merriman.
Martha was a member of the Eastern Star. Continuing with her great love of and celebration in the Lord, she was active in the Presbyterian and Baptist Churches in Martin and Victory Bible Church in Merriman.
Shortly after moving to Martin, Martha began providing child care for the local community, which she continued until their move to Merriman. She enjoyed “her kids” so much so that at times she had over a dozen children in the house from 8 to 5 every week day, plus all her grandkids during the summer months. She took great pleasure in her family and friends, neighbors and church, her yard, garden and flowers and took loving care of all around her. In her younger years, she enjoyed camping and fishing with husband, John, and friends.
In the early 1980’s John and Martha began making yearly visits to Globe, Ariz., to avoid the cold South Dakota winters. When in Arizona, Martha and John continued to enjoy their passions, camping and fishing, or playing cards and marbles with friends and spending time with their kids and grandkids. Martha continued her yearly treks to Arizona even after John’s passing in 1992, until around 1998, when she decided the travel was too much for her, and she chose to spend all her time in Merriman. Her final years in Merriman were greatly enriched by her truly awesome neighbors and the close-knit community that Merriman provided.
Survivors include her daughter, Karen Higgs, Mesa, Ariz.; sister, Bertha Schell, McClusky, N.D.; daughter-in-law, Shirley Rittenbach, Globe, Ariz.; grandchildren, Anita (John) Van Hassel, Snow Flake, Ariz., Kelly Higgs, Chandler, Ariz., Laura Rittenbach and Theresa (Rob) Petelo, both of Tucson, Ariz., and John Rittenbach, Globe, Ariz., and seven great-grandchildren.
Martha was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John; son, Gary; brothers, Jacob and Albert; sisters, Violet, Elizabeth, Adeline, Arlene and Lillian.
Services were held Friday, June 14, at the Old American Legion, in Martin, with the Rev. Tom Cobb officiating. Music was provided by Karen and Tom Cobb and Brett Burress. Burial was at the Merriman Cemetery.
Pallbearers were John Rittenbach, John Van Hassel, Robert Van Hassel, Lester Thayer, Don Moore and Matt Ford.
Honorary pallbearers were Anita Van Hassel, Kelly Higgs, Laura Rittenbach, Theresa Petelo, Reita Moore and Ruthie Sargent.
A memorial has been established. Donations may be sent to Bennett County Funeral Service, PO Box 65, Martin, SD 57551.
Arrangements by Bennett County Funeral Service.