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Robert Ritches

Robert G. "Bob" Ritches passed away on Feb. 14, 2007, at Harney District Hospital in Burns, Ore., after two years of failing health. He was born Feb. 12, 1922, in Portland to George and Bertha Ritches.
   Bob attended Portland schools, until his junior year at Jefferson High School, when he joined the United States Navy.
   He served in World War II as a deep sea diver aboard the U.S.S. Boxwood. Bob earned many honors, including the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal, the American Area Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
   After VE Day on May 8, 1945, when the war in Europe was over, he was assigned to the Naval Training Salvage School at Pier 88 in New York, NY.
   He was discharged on Feb. 21, 1946.
   Bob moved to Prineville and went to work for Abe and Margaret Hackleman's Crooked River Ranch, where he met LaVonne Hackleman. They married on Oct. 7, 1951, in Prineville.
   Bob continued to rodeo (including the Crooked River Roundup) and worked on the family ranch until 1956. For a short time, the family lived in Redmond and then moved to Harney County. He worked as a timber faller for independent loggers. Since 1965, the Ritches family has made their home at Harney.
   Ritches was a member of the American Legion Burns Post 0063 for a number of years. He also enjoyed hunting, was an avid reader and cribbage player.
   Bob is survived by: his wife of 55 years, Lavonne; children Margaret of Burns, John of Prineville, Jeff of Burns, and Marcia and husband Andy of Bend; grandchildren Taylor and Misty of Redmond, Melissa of Corvallis, Christa and fiance Stefan of Vale and Nathan of Corvallis. He is also survived by his nieces Judy Holliday of Prineville and Donna Mohan of Powell Butte and cousin Richard Kane and family of Medford.
   A memorial service was held Friday, Feb. 23, in Burns. Memorial contributions may be made to the Harney County Hospice, 415 N. Fairview, Burns, OR 97720.