October 5, 1951 - November 13, 2018
Tom Ritzenthaler, age 67, of Camano Island, WA. passed away on November 13, 2018 at Providence Hospital in Everett, after a short struggle with congestive heart failure and pulmonary hypertension. He was born in South Bend, IN. on October 5, 1951 to Isabel Touhey and Gene Ritzenthaler and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona.
Tom met and married his wife Joan in Phoenix in 1975, and they lived in multiple places for her corporate transfers, including two years in Alaska, and finally to Salt Lake City. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco in 1987 and worked in manufacturing. Tom led an adventurous life, with a good deal of travel. He lived in Hungary for two years, serving in the Peace Corps from 1995-1997.
Tom loved playing tennis and golf, fishing, camping, skiing, cooking, and reading. He readily adapted to changing life conditions, even after suffering a stroke in 2002 during open heart surgery, which left him legally blind. He continued his adventures, with his wife doing the driving, telling him where his golf shots went, and reading the menu for him on their continued travels. After his wife’s retirement in 2007, they moved to Seattle, and this summer to Camano Island, where Tom was so happy to live near a golf course.
Tom had a great sense of humor and a sweet heart. He was genuine, generous and (according to his wife) romantic. He is survived by his wife Joan, and his brother Gene (Laura), of Arlington, VA.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Camano Island in early December. Tom would want a party, so we’ll do our best. Tom donated his corneas to restore sight. In lieu of flowers, feel free to donate to either Save the Children or St. Gregory Catholic Parish in Phoenix, AZ. for support of the St. Gregory Catholic School.
Special thanks to the nursing staff at Providence Hospital.