Jack Lawrence Ritter, Jr., age 64, died peacefully on November 19, 2019 with his family surrounding him in love. Jack was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the son of Jack Ritter, Sr. and Judy Walters Ritter. He grew up in Jackson, MS and graduated from Murrah High School and then Millsaps College where he was member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. After a brief time working as an oil and gas lease broker with his father, Jack moved to Chicago to pursue his master’s degree and doctorate in English composition and rhetoric at the University of Illinois – Chicago. Jack loved the written word. He was an avid reader and a gifted writer and teacher, and he used these skills during his career as a teacher and business trainer. Jack moved to Louisville in 1996 where he worked for several major companies including Vencor and Providian before becoming Director of Training for ResCare until his retirement in 2015.
Jack was a talented golfer from a young age and played on his school golf team. He loved fishing, especially with his family. He usually caught the most fish (or at least that’s what he said) and would turn fishing expeditions into a friendly competition, especially with his brother and cousin. Jack loved music and sang in the high school choir. He passed his life-long joy of guitar to his son and they enjoyed playing together. Jack had a quick wit and loved to party with his close friends and family. He was a life-long Ole Miss Rebel fan and adopted the University of Louisville Cardinals as his second team. College football season was his favorite time of year.
Jack was happiest when he was with his extended family, especially his wife of 16 years, Linda Gardner Ritter. Jack loved Linda dearly and she was his rock and constant caregiver during his long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Jack’s son, Kyle Ritter, who is in pharmacy school at UNC, was Jack’s pride and joy. Jack is also survived by his mother, Judy Ritter of Jackson, Mississippi; sister Ann Ritter Walthall of Louisville; brother George Ritter (Betsy) of Jackson; step-daughter Julie Wheeler (Aaron) of Louisville; brothers-in-law Don Gardner of Covington, KY and Dennie Gardner of Tampa, FL; granddaughters Sophie Wheeler and Laurel Rogers (Jonathan); great-grandson Sullivan Rogers; nieces Jackie Walthall, Hannah Gardner, Rochelle Gardner and Sarah Love Crawford (Bentley); nephews Shawn Walthall, Andrew Ritter (Haleigh) and Zachary Gardner, and many close cousins and loyal friends.
Jack was predeceased by other men that he loved very much, his father Jack Ritter, Sr. and his brother-in-law Ralph Walthall and by his father-in-law, Mack Gardner who became Jack’s favorite fishing buddy during visits to Florida.
Jack was truly a bright presence in our life. We will miss his playful, loyal, caring nature and knowing he was always available for us, in good times and bad, whenever we needed him.
Visitation with the family will be at Highlands Funeral Home on Friday, November 22 from 3:00-7:00. A memorial service will be held at Anchorage Presbyterian Church on Saturday, November 23 at 11:00. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Parkinson’s Support Center of Kentuckiana.