Merle H. Rittenhouse, 90, of Lewellen, died early Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at the Sedgwick County Nursing Home in Julesburg, CO.
Graveside Services with military honors will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at the Ash Creek Cemetery northeast of Lewellen, NE with Pastor Maynard McCarthy officiating.
Memorials may be made in the name of the Rittenhouse Family.
Family and friends may sign the guest book and leave condolences online at www.holechekfuneralhomes.com.
Holechek Funeral Home & Cremations in Oshkosh is serving the Rittenhouse family.
Merle was born on June 21, 1921 to Thomas and Beryl [Rudd] Rittenhouse in Crawley County, Colorado. Early in his childhood his family moved to Garden County where he received his elementary schooling at rural district 38, a mile from his home and graduated from Garden County High School, class of 1941. He served his country in the United States Army in the European Theater as a medical aideman and gave his all from Oct 16, 1942 to Nov. 9, 1945, caring for the wounded and dying soldiers behind combat lines for the 10'" field Hospital in WW2. He served in 7 different campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe, Tunisia, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, and Southern France. After returning to his home northeast of Lewellen, Nebraska, his life was dedicated to farming and ranching. On October 21, 1952, he married Edith Yetter and together they raised their 3 children, Sara, Richard and Mary. His love of family, the land and the livestock he raised fulfilled his life to the end.
After retiring from the ranch in 1986, Merle and Edith moved to 602 Orr St. in Lewellen. His big vegetable garden was his pastime and he loved sharing his produce with friends and neighbors and the Volunteers of America. Merle also had the gift of grafting to trees, vines etc. and coming up with things unique and special such as one apple tree that produced 6 different varieties of apples.
Merle was a quiet, reserved and serious man until he got together with friends and family, then he could tell his share of stories. He gave of himself by taking time to go visit friends who were more seriously ill than he was.
His time for relaxing was spent reading the Fence Post and going through seed catalogs and watching sports on TV.
Survivors include his wife, Edith of over 58 years; 3 children, Sara and husband, Lance Barnica of Sedqwich, CO, Richard and wife Raenae Rittenhouse of Lewellen, and Mary and husband, Bill Saunders of Dundee, Scotland; one sister, Genilia Drown of Lewellen; 6 grandchildren and their families; 2 great-grandchildren; and a host of friends and other relatives.
Preceding him in death are his parents, 4 brothers, Leon, Evan, Try and Dallas, two sisters, ZelIa Nash and Enid Boggs