John Ritter

March 13, 1952 ~ January 4, 2022 (age 69)


John Ritter

March 13, 1952  ~   January 4, 2022

Six boys and one girl.  How many times in my life have I said that? How many times have I bragged about growing up in Council population 834 people? 

The Ritter family/kids now stands at two boys and one girl. How we got here is unreal.

My brother John is now in the care of God.  The way the story unfolded is totally unbelievable.

On January 4th family and friends were gathered in McCall for the celebration of life for brother Roger who had passed in late November.  Brother John had made the journey from his home in Austin, Texas to be with us.  It was a sad day but a good day in the beginning. 

John was assigned the duty of getting programs for Roger's service picked up from the funeral home in McCall and bringing them to Lardos. He had not arrived as the time came to start the service.

Cousin Gary Bores and his wife Sheila left the service to try and find John. The first stop was the Motel 8 where he was staying.  They found him in the parking lot in his pickup with the engine running deceased from a sudden and massive heart attack.  The same way brother Roger left earth just a few weeks prior.

John was fourth in line of the Ritter kids. He would have been seventy years old in March. At the time of his death he was living in Austin. Still working not because he needed too but because he wanted to.  His employer told the family that he was a hell of an employee.  He could out work a twenty year old they said.

John was a single man most of his life and had no children.  His kids were his nieces and nephews. 

After graduating from Council High School in 1970, he set out to conquer the world. Over his life time he lived and worked in Alaska (on the pipeline), in Colorado and Texas running dragline belly dumps in open pit mines.  Late in life he worked in Australia teaching others how to properly operate the huge equipment he was so good at running.

His 3 man crew were all little guys (like John) and soon became known in the industry as “The worlds smallest dragline crew.”  The drag line dumps could scrape close to thirteen acres in one pass. Huge is an understatement of the equipment size. More like gigantic was how his boss and good friend Paul Jenson described the machine.  In Photos of John next to the tires of the scraper he looked like a tiny shadow, hard to see because of the size of the machine. He was very proud of being talented enough to run such a huge piece of equipment.

The industry had moved overseas due to environmental regulations in the U.S.  Australia was where he retired from the industry about 5 years ago after political disputes between Australia and China (who bought the coal) crushed the industry. Draglines of that size are now mostly parked rusting away.

John loved golf, boating and Texas A&M football being a longtime member of the 12th man booster club at the University.

Oddly enough the night before his passing he told me he was thinking of coming home to the mountains of Idaho.  Californians moving into Austin with liberal stupid ideals bothered him. His conservative roots of Idaho were seemingly calling him home.

He’s home now and will be resting peacefully with his brothers Roger, Scott, and Tim, as well as father Pete and mother Kate Ritter.  He is survived by brother Rick and wife Terri and their children, Sister Vianne and her two children Sam and Vicki.  Brother  Steve and wife Cindy, nephew Nick Ritter and niece Cassandra Ritter Tenney.  And the families of Kevin Ritter and Tara Minert, Roger’s two children.  Many cousins scattered across Idaho and our special cousin Gary Bores and wife Sheila.  Gary and Sheila were special to all the Ritter boys and of course Sis. Along with Texas friends and what we call our Long Pin upper country friends too numerous to count.  The outreach to family from you all has been most comforting to the family.  God bless all of you.

A service will be held in Council on May 7th, 2022 at 1:00 PM at the Peace Park and his remains will join Roger at the Hettinger ranch on the South fork of the Salmon River.

Rest in Peace John and welcome home to Idaho where you belong.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
May 7, 2022

1:00 PM
Peace Park - Council
Council, ID 83612

© 2022 McCall Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility