Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Earl Morton Ritts

March 13, 1938 – June 27, 2021


Earl "Bud" Morton Ritts lived a full life and passed peacefully at home on June 27, 2021, at age 83. He would love to have had a few more years but none of us wanted him to suffer any longer.

He was born to Earl and Edna Ritts in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Bud attended Saltsburg Joint School in Saltsburg, Pa. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force being trained as a B52 mechanic where he served four years from

1956-1960. He was honorably discharged in

June 21, 1960. His active duty brought him to Fairchild where he met Cheryl at an Airman Ball in Airway Heights in Spokane, Washington, the woman who became his life partner. Bud and Cheryl married and started their life together. They were married 59 years before he lost his lovely wife due to a stroke six weeks prior to

his passing.

Bud and Cheryl were brought up with loving families and wanted to have one of their own. Before Bud met Cheryl, he had a daughter from a previous marriage, Tammy Loehlein, Spokane, Wash. They had five children together: Julie Joy, Vancouver, Wash., Douglas Ritts, Cheney, Wash., Mark Ritts, Endicott, Wash., Kelly Ritts Knott, Endicott, Wash., and Kimberly Hays-Bennett, Vancouver, Washington.

Bud was a general contractor-carpenter in California where they started their family, then eventually found their heaven of life in the Palouse country where they lived 55 years. He also worked as a truck driver for Baker Truck Lines and Waste Management.

Bud was a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his two sons. He cherished his time with his family and enjoy his yard, garden and the 100 pine trees he planted. Bud was a cowboy at heart and loved taking care of his horses. He enjoyed reading his Western Horseman while drinking his cup of coffee. He loved collecting antiques. Bud loved his Chevrolet pick-up truck. The heartbeat of America being the only pick-up truck he would drive. Bud and Cheryl went on many leisurely drives in their pick-up. They would play scrabble games which often lasted until the "wee" hours in the morning. He was born for the country life. Bud always considered himself the most fortunate man in the world and so do his children. His life was his love for Cheryl and the life they built together. He is now once again at home with Cheryl.

Bud will be dearly missed by family who gave him quality of life and so much pleasure. They include: four daughters, Tammy (Kurt) Loehlein, Julie (Steve) Joy, Kelly Ritts Knott and Kimberly (Mike) Bennett; two sons, Douglas Ritts (Heather) and Mark Ritts; seven grandchildren, Aric Loehlein, Victoria Ensz, Jacob Loehlein, Justin Joy, Jenna Joy, Ashley Olson and Zachary Hays; and five great-grandchildren, Finley Ensz, Forest Ensz, Oliver Olson, Rosie Mae Olson and Riley Olson.

Enclosed is a love letter from Bud to Cheryl which his family found after his passing...

Dear Love,

I love you! It has been many years that we shared our love, ups and downs and faith together. And each year grows to a golden rainbow together.

Your smile, kindness, love, gentleness, faith, motherhood and the perfect wife is why I love and cherish you.

I thank God for the wisdom he has given me to open my eyes to understand the beautifulness of the angel you are!

I love you Cheryl Anne Breeden Ritts!!!

You are my backbone in life. God bless you!

~Pittsburg Bud


A private graveside service was held at the St. John Cemetery in St. John, Washington. Bruning Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.


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