Smoke Rings

Smoke Rings

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As I mentioned in the Iron-Men Album -- it is with a sadness we put the magazine to print this time for our wonderful 'Boss' is not with us anymore, but I'm sure he would want us to keep everything going as usual -- he told me that many times -- so we're doing our best, with tears in our eyes, to get the 34th issue of Gas Engine Magazine on the way. Just think, Elmer was 77 when he ventured into the second magazine. Many people would never venture into anything more at that age -- but Elmer was a pioneer all the way.

I've had many thoughts since Elmer died and except for the sad moments which spring from selfishness on my part, I have a lot of nice memories. I've been working for Elmer thirteen years last September and we were friends many years before that and even though we were in business, we remained friends always -- something that society warns against. We have had different views on matters, but it never even made a dent in our friendship, we simply would discuss the problem, come to an agreement and go on to the next day's work. Elmer was our minister quite a few years before I worked for him and he baptized our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th child. Oh yes, we have many memories. We're glad we had the privilege of knowing him.

A viewing was held Friday evening, May 7, in Lemoyne and then on Saturday a viewing was held at the Church. It was the nicest memorial service I have ever attended. Burial was in Riverview Cemetery, Millerstown.

Elmer was 82 and died in the Blue Ridge Haven West Nursing Home. He was a retired minister of the United Methodist Church with 42 years of service. He had been a pastor in West-port, Muncy Valley, Salona, Lamar, Munson, Robertsdale, Woodvale, Clear-field, Williamsport, Millerstown and retired from Enola United Methodist Church after nine years of ministering there.

He was a member of Moshannon Lodge 391, F & AM, Williamsport Consistory, Harrisburg Forest 431, Tall Cedars of Lebanon and was founder and publisher of Iron-Men Album and Gas Engine Magazine.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Earlene Ritzman; three daughters, Mrs. David Gilson of Seville, Ohio; Mrs. John Barger of Linden and Miss Marsha Nelson, at home; a son, William C. Ritzman of Millerstown, a sister, Miss Jessie Ritzman of Port Royal; two brothers, J. Lloyd and W. Book Ritzman, both of Port Royal, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Elmer had been fitted only the Saturday before his death with a new blue suit in preparation for the wedding of his daughter, Marsha, who is being married this month of June. Elmer was going to perform the ceremony. When he tried on his new suit, he said, 'And do I get a red tie to wear with this suit?' Elmer's favorite color was red -- he had his red tie -- I thought you'd like to know. When you walked into the funeral home the RED hue was very evident in the floral tributes -- many people knew he was fond of this color and had requested it.

A few years ago while Elmer was touring the country and attending the Reunions he had a ring made for him, from silver. He asked the person who was making it to engrave on the ring, 'This too will pass.' We talked about that inscription many times -- it fascinated me and it makes me ponder about many things with which we become involved in life -- think about it. It was his motto. And in closing, if the tears smudge the column -- please forgive -- we loved him too!