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Obituary: Rudolph Rudy Werner Ritschard Jr.

July 1, 1927-July 25, 2006
by: contributed photo, Rudy Ritschard Jr.

Former Gresham resident Rudolph 'Rudy' Werner Ritschard Jr., 79, died Tuesday, July 25, in Clackamas.

Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, July 31, at Bateman Carroll Funeral Home, 520 W. Powell Blvd., Gresham.

A graveside service with military and police honors will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, at Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 S.E. Mount Scott Blvd., Portland. A memorial service will follow at 1 p.m. at Gladstone Christian Church, 305 E. Dartmouth St., Gladstone.

Rudy was born July 1, 1927, in Gresham to Swiss parents Rudolph Werner and Irma (Borter) Ritschard. He was raised and educated in Gresham, and attended West Gresham Grade, Powell Valley Elementary and Rockwood Elementary schools. He graduated from Gresham High School in 1945.

Rudy later continued his education at the University of Portland, where he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1972 and a master's degree in education in 1974.

After high school, Rudy enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in World War II and the Korean War.

After World War II, Rudy traveled around the country as a catcher for the all Marine Corps Baseball Team, playing games against Major League teams. He was drafted by the Yankees but turned down the offer so he could take care of his family.

After three military enlistments, Rudy was honorably discharged Sept. 12, 1958, having attained the rank of staff sergeant.

On Aug. 8, 1948, Rudy married Elaine Cook in Portland. They made their home in Portland.

Rudy worked as a Multnomah County Sheriff's Office deputy for three years. He later served with the Portland Police Bureau for 28 years, and he retired in 1979, having earned the rank of lieutenant.

In 1978, Rudy moved back to Gresham. From 1979 to 1981, he worked for the Board of Police Standards and Training for the State of Oregon Police Academy. He later served as the branch manager in charge of security at the Trojan nuclear plant.

In 1989, he moved to Central Oregon, where he settled on a 200-acre ranch in Mitchell. When he was in Mitchell, he worked as a full-time substitute teacher and taught every level from kindergarten to 12th grade. He moved to Clackamas in 1999.

Rudy was a member of the Mitchell Lions Club and a charter member of the Milwaukie Elks. He was also a member of Gladstone Christian Church, served on the Lutheran Church Council and taught in the Lutheran church for 50 years.

Rudy enjoyed youth sports and coached various teams for 18 years. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting and spending time with his family.

Rudy was preceded in death by his brother, Ronald Ritschard. Survivors include his wife of Clackamas; sons, Christopher Ritschard and Brad Ritschard, both of Gresham, and Bruce Ritschard of Portland; daughters, Suzanne LeBaron of Milwaukie and Heidi Campbell of Portland; brother, Robert Ritschard of Seaside; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Gladstone Christian Church building fund, 305 E. Dartmouth St., Gladstone, 97027. Bateman Carroll Funeral Home is handling arrangements.