Dick Ritger Death – Dead | Obituary – Passed Away
Dick Ritger Death – Dead: A great loss was made known to InsideEko. As friends and families of the deceased are mourning the passing of their loved and cherished Dick Ritger.
Very sad day for all of us at the Dick Ritger bowling camp.
Dick passed peacefully at home on Thursday night.
He was an amazing ambassador for the game of bowling. He traveled the world teaching bowling and changing the lives of those he touched.
Some of those bowlers went on to become PBA or PWBA champions. Many many more of those bowlers were people who were not pros but became better bowlers because of his teaching program.
He took pride in helping bowlers of all skill levels and abilities.
At the Ritger bowling camp, we will always strive to carry his legacy forward.
Richard “Dick” Ritger, age 81 of River Falls, died Thursday, August 27, 2020 at his home. He was born on November 8, 1938 to Dave and Evelyn Ritger in Hartford, WI. His childhood was spent living in the family apartment above a 10-lane bowling establishment owned by his parents, and he took full advantage of those lanes to develop exceptional bowling skills. He graduated from Lacrosse University in 1960 with a degree in PhyEd and Recreation and then worked as Recreation Director for the city of Hartford. After being awarded the Wisconsin Bowler of the Year in 1962, 1963, and 1965, Dick decided to test his bowling skills on the Professional Tour. Professional bowling was a very successful venture for him, and he captured 20 PBA titles in his 15 years on Tour, appearing often on TVs Wide World of Sports. Dick was a gentleman on and off the lanes and was twice awarded the PBAs Sportsmanship Award. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1978, the ABC Hall of Fame in 1984, and the Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2008 and was named one of the top 20 bowlers of the century in 2000. In his bowling career, Dick found that he had the skills to teach others, and he put his college degree to work by formulating the “Dick Ritger Bowling Camps” which were headquartered in Ithaca, NY for many years. His teaching programs were world renowned and he taught in 38 countries across five continents. Dick estimates that he taught 25,000 bowlers how to improve their bowling skills. He developed a three-part video/DVD series called “The Feelings of Bowling” that was distributed worldwide. He also helped to develop a “Wounded Warrior” program to help disabled veterans by refining and modifying his skill drills so that disabled veterans could better enjoy the sport.
Dick moved to River Falls, WI with his wife, Judy and their four children in 1975. He continued traveling the world while teaching bowling skills in Australia, Singapore, the Middle East, the Far East, and Europe. After suffering multiple strokes in 2014 he was unable to continue his travels but offered help to many local people seeking to better their bowling skills. He was always generous with his time and willing to help anyone who asked. He was truly a remarkable man and will be missed by so many, especially his devoted family members. Dick is survived by his wife of 60 years, Judy; three children, Scott (Amy), Shari (Joe) Hammer, and Cyndi; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; brothers, Dave (Shirley) and John (Laura); sister-in-law, Kathy; niece, Jenny (John) Borzick; and niece-in-law, Penny. He is preceded in death by his son, Dan; brother, Bob (Judy); and nephew, Jeff. Due to Covid-19, no funeral mass will be held. A Private Family Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 2:00PM at St. Bridget Catholic Church in River Falls. In honor of Dick’s life, the family requests that any memorial gifts be given to St. Bridget’s Catholic Church or the River Falls Food Pantry. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.
Thoughts with the family and friends of bowling legend Dick Ritger, who passed away yesterday.
In 2008 Mr. Ritger was voted the No. 14 greatest player in PBA history. He won 20 PBA titles, won the Nagy Sportsmanship Award twice (1970, ’73) and was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1978.
Most of all, I am thinking of all the people around the world that Mr. Ritger taught how to bowl, including many of my friends, who emerged from the famed Dick Ritger Bowling Camp with refined games and have been great for life. Many of his students in turn continue to spread the knowledge they learned from Ritger to bowlers of all ages today.
As bowling journalist Jerry Schneider wrote, “You could quite literally say that Dick Ritger was born to bowl.” Ritger’s name and story will help define the history of the sport, forever.
I’m sure many are aware that a true Icon of the sport has passed yesterday. Dick Ritger was not only a 20 time PBA champion but also an ambassador to the sport of bowling. When he decided he couldn’t complete at the level he was accustomed to anymore he not only turned in his PBA card to the tournament director he never picked up a ball ever again. But instead of being bitter about it…not being able to do what he had loved his whole life and walk away from the sport…He decided to embrace what he had experienced on the PBA tour and teach all the things that made him become one of the greatest bowlers of all time. Teaching what was easy for some is not always an easy thing for everyone to comprehend. Mr. Ritger was a natural at it and did it as calmly and as cool and collected as anyone could. Yes he had a great staff helping him for over 25 years but they were led by him and his great demeanor. I am proud to say I was one of the most successful Ritger Academy disciples if not the the most. You were a great man and were there for me whenever I needed help or any motivation. Rest in Peace