Saturday, February 22, 2014

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks: #8 ~ Happy Birthday Grandpa Ritchie

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog) 

First, just the facts:
Name: David Washington Ritchie
Born: 22-Feb-1908, Cleveland, Ohio
Married: Lela Saurer 05-Jul-1933, Cleveland, Ohio
Died: 16-Jan-2000, Wayne County, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]

Relationship: Paternal Grandfather

I am descended through:
- his son, my father, Donald John Ritchie
There are two things I always remember my Grandpa Ritchie telling me.  The first is that he was named David Washington because he was born on Washington's birthday.  The second is that he was "the youngest of the oldest four."

You can barely see him in this picture but he is the baby being held in the backseat by this mother [Mary Benzie]

Dave is the younger boy here - with the rather intense stare.  He is with his older brother Tom and their father [Thomas Leopold Ritchie.]  I can't image dressing boys in all white like that - I wonder how long they stayed clean?

And here are the "older four" Ritchie's - l to r:
William Alexander, b 25-Apr-1902
Thomas Albert, b 11-Sep-1906
David Washington, b 22-Feb-1908
Hildegarde Moore, b 15-Aug-1904

Dave would have four more siblings - the younger four l to r:

Windsor Benzie, b 18-Feb-1911
George Foster, b 30-Jan-1914
James Swinton, b 07-Mar-1912
front: Cora Black, b 25-Jan-1921

I don't have many pictures of Dave as a young man, but I do have this snap of him with his young family and his in-laws.

Of course this is how I remember my Grandpa Ritchie.  One of the first stories told about Grandpa and me - and one he liked to repeat - had to do with a time when I was very young, maybe 4 or 5.  Apparently we had been several places visiting Grandma's friends - probably showing off the grandchild! - and one of the ladies asked me what we were doing next.  I replied that Grandpa said we would go get ice cream.  In the teasing way that people sometimes like to talk to children, she asked if I was sure we were going for ice cream and I said yes, Grandpa said so.  Then she asked, "Yes, but did he PROMISE that you were going for ice cream?"  I looked at her and said, with hands on my hips, "No, but when my Grandpa says something it's the same as a promise!"  I probably got an extra scoop that day.

When Grandpa was retired, he and Grandma would go down to Florida for the winter.  When I visited he would ALWAYS insist on checking the oil in my car.  I'd tell him it didn't need it, but he's always make me pop the hood. Then he'd slip me $20 "just in case."  Everyone has different ways of saying they love you.

Happy Birthday Grandpa ~ wish you were still here to tell me to check the oil and not drive so fast!


  1. Funny I didn't remember grandpa eyes being so intensely blue and being just like dads but they are! I wish he was here too, to tell me he wasn't sure my pancakes were any good so I better make him another so he could be sure :) I miss that sweet man!


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