Ritchie, Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas Ritchie

Robert Thomas Ritchie, Captain, U. S. Coast Guard (Retired)

1944 – September 16, 2022

Robert Thomas Ritchie, 78 of Richfield, passed away Friday, September 16, 2022, in his home. His family received friends on Thursday, September 22, 2022, from 4pm until 6pm at Stanly Funeral and Cremation Care of Albemarle. Burial will take place in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Mr. Ritchie is survived by his daughters, Elizabeth Meybohm and Robin Riles; a son, Robert Riles; grandchildren, Amber Riles, Tanner Riles, Tabitha Meybohm, Brandi Riles and Jessica Brandon; brother, John Ritchie; cousins; nieces and nephews.

One of five children Robert was born in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of Lawrence and Lillian Ritchie. Robert Thomas Ritchie grew up in the post-war period in the Northeast. He studied Accounting at Bentley College then at 21, he volunteered to serve in the United States Coast Guard. Robert was one of five USCG pilots deployed to Vietnam as part of a joint operation with Air Force. During his tour, Robert “The Kid” Ritchie flew search and rescue missions in the “Jolly Green Giant” helicopters, and in recognition of his service he was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star, among other decorations and commendations. Following the war, he served as a Flight Training Instructor and was stationed variously in Louisiana, Alabama, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C. and Florida. During his time in Mobile, Alabama, he met his wife, Frances Marie Tindell, and the two were wed in 1973. Together they raised three children and were blessed with five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. In 1993, Captain Robert T. Ritchie retired from active duty, having served 29 years in the USCG. Following his retirement, Robert found odd jobs and projects to keep himself busy. He worked severally as a taxi driver, gas station attendant, and mechanic; he even helped clean and repair the Goodyear blimp. His life in the service taught him there was no problem that couldn’t be engineered out of. He loved everything Boston (be they Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics or Patriots).

He will be remembered by his family as a cantankerous, opinionated, loving, brilliant and selfless man. In 2019, his wife Frances Ritchie passed away. May they now be reunited together in Heaven.

Published by Sun-Sentinel on Sep. 25, 2022.

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