Dennis Ritter, age 72 of Melrose, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, November 10 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in St. Rosa with Rev. Dan Walz officiating. There will be no visitation prior to the Mass on Tuesday. Interment will be in the parish cemetery with military honors by the Melrose Veterans Honor Guard.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Melrose.
Dennis Joseph Ritter was born November 18, 1947 in Melrose, Minnesota to Roman and Edith (Maus) Ritter. After he graduated from Melrose High School, he served in the United States National Guard, completing a six-year term. On November 23, 1968 he married Judith Sand at St. Anthony Catholic Church in St. Anthony (near Albany). Dennis started working at Kraft in Melrose in the plant and then as a field representative and became known to many as the caramel man. During his time at Kraft, he purchased the family farm in 1982 and started farming full time in 1991. He retired from milking in 2013 and continued farming. He also drove bus for Melrose Area Public School and for high school sporting events.
Dennis was an active member, usher, and janitor of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. He was a member of the St. Rosa Lions, Holy Name Society, and board member of the Sauk River Watershed. Dennis enjoyed farming, hunting, playing cards, going to sporting events, being involved with his grandchildren, and most recently riding around on his side by side.
Survivors include his wife, Judy Ritter of Melrose; sons and daughter, Randy Ritter of Albany, Brian Ritter (Jen Hanan) of Avon, Kurt (Tiffany) Ritter of New Munich, and Cindy (Adam) Hellermann of Melrose; grandchildren, Stephanie (Chad) Mergen, Alisha Ritter, Tyler and Derek Ritter, Kaydence Bertram, and Bradley, Brett, and Bria Hellermann; brother and sisters, LuVerne (Jean) Ritter of Melrose, Joann Ritter of Melrose, and Edna (Marvin) Goebel of Albany.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents; nephew, Timothy Ritter; and granddaughter, Peyton Ritter.
Serving as casket bearers will be Tyler Ritter, Derek Ritter, Bradley Hellermann, Brett Hellermann, Stephanie Mergen, and Kaydence Bertram. Cross bearer will be Alisha Ritter and scripture bearer will be Bria Hellermann.
Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Melrose.