Ellen Jane Ritchie, age 93, passed away on Sunday, November 18, 2012 in Wausau.
She was born June 30, 1919, in Spokane, Washington, the daughter of the late Earl and Beatrice (Moody) Knowles. After graduating from Weyauwega High School, Jane earned her degree in teaching from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She began her teaching career in Iola and then taught elementary education and music in both the Weyauwega and Fremont schools for many years. During WWII, she proudly served her country as a volunteer with the USO. On December 29, 1946 she married Robert L. Averill of Fremont. After the death of her first husband, she later remarried Donovan Ritchie on August 9, 1980. Jane was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Weyauwega, where she sat on the church council and actively participated in the Presbyterian Women’s club. She was also a member of the Wolf River American Legion Auxiliary Post 391 in Fremont. One of her favorite hobbies was playing with her card club, a group of her closest friends, for many years. Jane also enjoyed travelling, finding new restaurants, and watching the Packer and Badger games. She will be remembered for her adventurous spirit, her love of children, and a relentless sense of joy in life.
Jane is survived by her son, Robert Averill, Hortonville; her daughter, Peggy Johnson, Rhinelander; her son-in-law, Robert (Mary Jo) Solberg, Waupaca; two step-daughters, Pat Ritchie, Weyauwega; and Kathy (Gary) Frank, Green Bay; eight grandchildren, Michelle (Euan) Ford, Ryan (Jenny) Solberg, Eric (Valerie) Johnson, Kristi (Timothy J.) Estabrook, Brian Johnson, Jacqueline (Tim) Noll, Ben (Mary) Frank, and Cheryl (Jeremy) Treague; six great-grandchildren, a sister, Ruth (Carl) Scholz, Sturgeon Bay; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Jane was preceded in death by her first husband, Robert Averill, her second husband, Donovan Ritchie, her daughter, Marjorie Solberg, her sister, Phyllis (Clifford) Ahlquist, and her son-in-law, Paul Johnson.
Funeral services were held on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM at First Presbyterian Church, 200 S. Pine St., Weyauwega. Charles Brownlow will officiate. The burial was at Lakeside Cemetery in Fremont. Visitation was held on Friday at the church from 10:00 AM until the time of service. A memorial fund has been established for Weyauwega-Fremont School System and the Wolf River American Legion Auxiliary Post 391.