Jeanne Marie Ritter
Longtime Aspen resident Jeanne (Jeannie) Ritter sadly passed away on Dec. 15, 2013, in Phoenix, Ariz., after complications from acute pancreatitis. She was 82. She was born Jeanne Marie Jones in Logan, Iowa, in 1931. She was one of 11 girls and two boys born to Thomas and Olive Jones.
Jeanne moved with her children to Aspen in 1964 from Sacramento, Calif., to be closer to one of her sisters, Delores Heman, brother-in-law Pat Heman and their children Phillip and Chris. She worked for the city of Aspen for over three decades, mainly as the court administrator, until she retired in the mid-1990s. Jeanne was a parishioner at Saint Mary Catholic Church and also volunteered at The Thrift Shop of Aspen.
She was an Aspen original with a big heart. As anyone who went into her City Hall office to get out of a parking ticket can tell you, Jeanne was a soft touch. If you had a fairly good excuse, seemed like a nice person and/or you were a local, you were often let off with a warning. Hard to imagine that happening these days, but those were different times, and Aspen was a different place in many respects. Hunter S. Thompson would stop in, but often his alleged offenses were beyond her jurisdiction.
Jeanne enjoyed fall colors, travelling, canning salsa, live music in the mountains, court hearings, watching television, and just being in Aspen. She especially loved children. Many in the Roaring Fork Valley will remember Jeannie taking great interest in their kids. She had many pictures on her desk of local kids right up to the end of her life.
Jeanne is survived by her children, Hans (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) Bill (Dale, Texas) Carol Rhobena (Maui, Hawaii) and John (Tucson, Ariz.), and siblings Charlotte Saran (Modesto, Calif.) Julienne Tucker, (Modesto) Sandra Humphrey, (Springfield, Ore.) Barbara Engle (White City, Ore.) Richard Jones, (John Day, Ore.) Irene Seidel (Tucson) and 10 grand children and many great grandchildren.
A celebration of Jeannie’s life will take place at a later date. Donations can be made in Jeanne’s name in support of Ryan’s House, which provides short-term overnight respite stays as well as end-of-life care for children with life-threatening conditions at ryanhouse.org/donations-support/.