American Veteran 01

Donald Ritzenthaler

October 19, 1933 ~ February 3, 2021 (age 87)


HURON – Donald G. Ritzenthaler, 87, passed away Wednesday, February 3, 2021 under Stein Hospice Care at Parkvue Health Care Center, Sandusky, surrounded by his family.

   Don was born October 19, 1933 in Sandusky to the late George and Delores (Callan) Ritzenthaler.

   He was a star athlete and was inducted into the Huron High School Hall of Fame in 2018.  He was a 1952 graduate of Huron High School.  While completing a four-year apprenticeship, he went to work at General Motors New Departure ball bearing plant in Sandusky.  In 1952 he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and served in the headquarters company at Camp Chaffee, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, until 1954.  While there, he met Ella M. (Ellie) Klinc, the lady who would become his wife on Sept. 3, 1955.  They were married 65 years.

   Upon his discharge, Don returned to New Departure where he was employed for 35 years, first as a foreman and finally as superintendent of the plant’s skilled tradesmen.

   Don served as a Huron Township Trustee for 24 years and was instrumental in bringing a spirit of cooperation with the City of Huron that brought about many improvements to Fabens Park, the joint fire and EMS services, and many other joint projects.  He was a member of the Erie County Township Association, and one of the founders and a 65-year member of the Huron Township Conservation Club League.  He was a member of the Huron Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for eight years and served on the board of the Northern Ohio Rural Water.  He was a life-long member of St. Peter Catholic Church, Huron.

   An avid boater, fisherman, and outdoorsman, Don operated the Ritz charter boat business for 15 years on the boat named “Miss Ellie”.  He was the winner of the 1992 Moose Fishing Tournament.  He organized area charter captains who offered their services to guests at the Lodge at Sawmill Creek and other area hotels.

   He is survived by four children, Vicki (David) Vogan, of Broadview, Heights, Toni (Jeff) Coomer of Toledo, Kevin (Dondra), of Miami, FL, and Michael (Jen), of Huron; grandchildren, Dan, Eric, Mallory, Kyle, Cole, Reece, Lauren, Amanda, Rachel, and Brian; great-grandchildren, Tyler, Andrew, Jace, Ellie, Nash, and Nora.

   In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by his wife, Ella; a sister, Lois (Tom) Rippon; a sister-in-law, Rosie Ritzenthaler; and his brother, Tom Ritzenthaler.

   Due to Covid-19, private family services were held at St. Peter Catholic Church, Huron.

   In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Huron Township Conservation Club, 2121 Huron Avery Rd, Huron 44839 or to St. Peter Church, 430 Main Street, Huron.

   Online condolences maybe shared at

   Foster Funeral Home & Crematory, Huron, assisted the family.

   It is with deep sadness, we announce the death of our father, Donald George Ritzenthaler.  Only 9 months ago, we lost our beloved mother, Ellie Ritzenthaler.  They were inseparable in life and now together again in the glory of God’s heaven.  He was a man of faith, high moral standard, and the best father and mentor, we all could have asked for.  We, your children, will make you proud.  Until we all meet again, continue to watch over us, keep us safe, and know you both are forever in our hearts. 

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