"Aces of The Eighth" by Jack Fellows

James W. “Tex” Ritter, RIP


As mentioned in the last newsletter, our President Emeritus Tex Ritter was diagnosed with and had surgery to remove a glioblastoma brain tumor in May of this year.  I was just informed that he passed away suddenly on Monday, September 17, 2018.  Tex’s obituary is attached below.  Rest in Peace my friend and fellow JUVAT.


James W. “Tex” Ritter Jr.(1945 – 2018)

James W. “Tex” Ritter Jr., 72, of 233 Hanes Drive, St. Marys, and Fort Worth, Texas, died unexpectedly Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at his residence in St. Marys.

He was born Nov. 25, 1945, in St. Marys, son of the late James W. Ritter Sr. and Rita Sennett. Jim was a graduate of Lynnfield High School in Massachusetts and Colby College in Maine.

He then entered the United States Air Force, serving in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and later becoming a fighter pilot. After retiring as a Major in the Air Force, Jim worked as a pilot for American Airlines and as a Reserve Police Officerin Fort Worth, Texas. He ended his working career as a Hood County Deputy Sheriff and Special Investigator in Grandbury, Texas.

Jim spent his time between his homes in St. Marys and Fort Worth. He was an avid reader and outdoorsman, enjoying hunting and farming.

On June 14, 2003, in Texas, Jim married Rita J. Griffith, who survives. He is also survived by a daughter, Amy Ritter Gibson and her husband, Dr. Michael Gibson, of Frederick, Maryland; a son, Dr. John D. Ritter and his wife, Gina, of Annapolis, Maryland; the mother of his children, Bonnie K. Ritter of Frederick, Maryland; and by three step-children, Gena Bartlett of Fort Worth, Texas; Wayne Jones and his wife Leigh Anne of Weatherford, Texas; and Rebecca Ferris of Fort Worth, Texas. Also surviving are 10 grandchildren: Virginia, Abigail, Clara, Brittany, Tripp, Cashion, Grace, Taylor, Connor, and Jordan; one great-granddaughter, Evelyn Rose; and by a brother, John Stephen Ritter and his wife, Lynn, of Seven Lakes, North Carolina.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the St. Mary’s Church, St. Marys, on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 10 a.m., with the Rev. Peter Augustine Pierjok, OSB, Pastor, officiating. Full military rites will be accorded by the St. Marys Servicemen’s Burial Detail. Burial will follow in the St. Mary’s Cemetery in St. Marys.

Visitation is at the Lynch-Radkowski Funeral Home, 169 Center Street, St. Marys, PA, on Friday, Sept. 21, from 5-7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online at MyDuke Cancer Fund: James W. Ritter Jr. – Duke Cancer Institute: http://dccc.convio.net/site/TR/DIY/General?px=1283541&pg=personal&fr_id=1310.Duke Cancer Institute, 710 West Main Street, Suite 200, Durham, NC 2770.

Online condolences may be offered at www.lynch-radkowski.com.

169 Center Street St. Marys, PA 15857

(814) 781-1410


    • Thanks Steve. Tex was my mentor and helped me immensely when I took over as HH01. But mostly he was my friend and fellow JUVAT from 1977 and I’ll miss him every day. I’m sure he was looking down and laughing his ass off as I struggled to get this bad news posted without his help.

      Bob “Muskrat” McNeese

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