Services for James Dwain "JD" Ritch, 80, of New Chapel Hill are scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home with the Rev. Mike Ford officiating. Burial will be in Mason Cemetery in Arp. Visitation will be at 9 a.m. prior to services.
J.D. was born on Oct. 10, 1932, in Wright City to James Aubrey and Sarah Mae Ritch. They preceded him in death. He died Saturday, May 25, 2013.
He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War as a demolition diver on the USS Olmsted. While still serving his country, he married his wife of 59 years, Peggy Joyce Wright. Their family includes daughter and son-in-law La Vonda and Vernon Johnston and daughter Debra Teague. Grandchildren include Shannon McElroy, Amanda "Mandy" Rawls and husband Robert, Heather Jones and husband Jeff, Jennifer Teague and Jeremy Teague. Great-grandchildren include MiKayla and Blade McElroy, Macie and Madison Rawls, Chyenne and Lexon Jones, Haiden Holley and Alyssa Gerloff. J.D. (or Dwain as they called him) had one sister, Peggy Cockrell; and a brother, Buddy Ritch and sister-in-law, Wanda; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
J.D. was employed by the Tyler Police Department. During his 17 years there, he served as patrolman, detective, drug enforcement and warrant officer. He also owned Continental Investigation and Security. He worked for Trailways Bus Co. and retired at Lone Star Bus Co. as a charter driver. He was a Baptist and member of Sharon Temple and St. John's Masonic Lodge.
Pallbearers will include Aubrey "Pete" Ritch, Kirk Ritch, Donnie Ritch, Jeremy Teague, Chad Wright and Kyle Wright.
The family requests that memorials be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children in lieu of flowers.
Burks-Walker-Tippit Funeral Directors
215 E. Front St. Tyler, TX 75702-8123
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on May 27, 2013