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Dennis Ritchey

November 17, 1942 - February 14, 2015

Dennis Lee Ritchey, 72, of Hendersonville, N.C. died peacefully Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, at Cardinal Care.

Dennis was born to the open road. Born in Detroit to Depression-era parents, Fred and Ruth Ritchey, he spent his childhood traveling across the country while his father served as a minister for Jehovahís Witnesses. The road took him to the Jehovahís Witnessesí world headquarters in Brooklyn where he met his first wife, Sara. While raising three sons he served as a police officer in Somerville, N.J. When the relationship ended, he was given another opportunity as a father and husband in Augusta, Ga. It was there that he met his second wife, Eva. Together they traveled to Hendersonville where he worked for Select Foods while they raised two wonderful daughters. Returning to the open road, he became a professional truck driver for PYA/Monarch Foods.

Better known by his CB handle, Tumbleweed, Dennis earned a safe driver award from the National Safety Council for more than a million miles driven. While trucking was his profession, his children were his passion. He would regale his daughters with stories from the highway and unwind on weekends watching movies with them, ordering pizza from Patelliís and driving down the mountain in his teal blue Chevy pickup. His support for Native American childrenís charities was a natural outgrowth of his love of the Old West ó particularly from the stories of Louis LíAmour and the films of John Wayne. Perhaps it was channeling Wayneís tough-guy persona that helped him survive a debilitating stroke in late 2011. He showed true grit in the long months of recovery and rehabilitation afterward. Through his life, Dennis maintained his Irish sensibilities with wit, generosity, and an insatiable hunger for life.

He is survived by Mark Ritchey of Wrentham, Mass., Michael Ritchey of Colton, Calif., Dennis Ritchey of Riverside, Calif., Jessica Ritchey of Crofton, Md., Julia Ritchey of Hendersonville, N.C., and four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his beloved beagle, Bodhi.xxxx. A memorial service will be held 4:00 PM Tuesday, February 17, 2015 in the Kirby Chapel of Shuler Funeral Home. Rev. Steve Jones will officiate. The family will receive guests at the funeral home following the service.

Service Information

Memorial Information

Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Time: 4:00 pm

Location:

Kirby Memorial Chapel of Shuler Funeral Home

125 Orrs Camp Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792


Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Time: 4:00 pm

Location:

Kirby Memorial Chapel of Shuler Funeral Home

125 Orrs Camp Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792


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