Herman, MN 56248
Gary Ritzschke, age 70, of Herman, Minnesota passed away Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
Funeral Services will be held Monday, October 24, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the Herman School Gymnasium with Rev. Ted Graf officiating.
A private family burial will take place in Eden Reformed Cemetery, rural Herman at a later date.
Visitation will be held Sunday evening from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Herman School Gymnasium. Visitation will continue Monday morning one hour prior to service time at the gymnasium.
Gerhardt "Gary" E. Ritzschke was born on February 12, 1946. He went to and graduated from Herman High School in 1964. Gary then went to work for Culligan in Morris for one and a half years. Gary moved to Minneapolis with cousin and best friend, Michael "Mickey" Kramer in 1967. He worked for Electric Machinery for fourteen years. While there he got married to Renee Boshay in 1969 and they had three children: Shane Ritzschke, Kelly Nielsen and Jodi Strand. Gary and Renee were divorced in 1979.
In 1980 Gary returned to Herman and worked as a mechanic, LP truck driver and secretary for the Norcross Coop Oil Association. After that he worked in Alexandria for Alex Extrusion. During harvest time he would work for the Kramer's doing different things. He "retired" in 1994 only to start driving school bus for the Herman-Norcross School District. Driving school bus turned out to be his most enjoyable job. He loved all the kids he drove over the years. They were like a part of his family.
Gary was also blessed with three grandsons: Landon Strand, Carl Ritzschke and Levin Strand. Gary lived his entire life for his family and his church.
Gary is survived by three children: Shane Ritzschke of Herman; Kelly (Jeffrey) Nielsen of Morris, Minnesota; and Jodi (Jason) Strand of Herman; three grandchildren: Carl Ritzschke, Landon Strand and Levin Strand; one sister Dorothy Todd of Herman; one brother Dale Ritzschke of St. Cloud, Minnesota; one special aunt Grace Margaret Kramer of Herman; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and extended family.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, cousin Mickey Kramer, and brother-in-law David Todd.