Passing of John Ritchey

John Ritchey, passed away peacefully on Friday, September 13th at his home. His family surrounded him at the time of his passing. John was 90 years old.
John was born in Riverside CA. In 1944, at the age of 15, John went to work for CDF (now Cal Fire) as a Seasonal Firefighter at the San Jacinto Station. All of the young men were at war at that time so they were forced to hire older youth. John grew up in Riverside, attended High School and graduated in 1947. In 1950 John promoted to Fire Truck Driver in Monterey County. At the end of that summer he was drafted into the Army. He did his basic training at Fort Ord. He was sent to Korea in 1951. John saw active duty and was promoted to the rank of Sargent First Class. While waiting to be discharged from the Army, his friend Orville asked him if he wanted to go to Salinas to visit his relatives. He did, and that is where he met Orville’s cousin Dorothy. The beautiful brunet from Salinas caught his eye and Dorothy was smitten on the handsome GI in uniform. They hit it off immediately, and that began the courtship that led to marriage in 1953. John returned to school to get a degree in Forest Management from Susanville. After working as a trainee in Monterey, he was promoted to Forestry Technician at the Davis Nursery. After 2 years he was promoted to a Forester II and took over the Ben Lomond Nursery in 1963. He retired in 1984.
The State Nursery was the second love of his life. Dorothy being his first. He loved what he did even though he often worked 16hr days, 7 days a week to keep it all going. It is estimated that during his time at the nursery, he produced over 40 million seedlings for reforestation, Christmas Trees, and other land improvements. John and Dorothy were married for 65 years!
John is preceded in death by his father EB Ritchey, mother Marie Ritchey, sister Billy Ann Conde, and brother Ray Ritchey. He leaves behind his wife of 65 years Dorothy Ritchey of Santa Cruz, daughter and life partner Cathy White and Joseph Guido of Ben Lomond, Son and daughter-in-law John and Cathy Ritchey of Aptos, daughter and son-in-law Janice and Leroy Capote of Arboga California. Also 5 grandsons, Martin Capote, Chris White, Allan White (wife Candace), Robert Ritchey and Kyle Ritchey (wife Katie).
A Celebration of John’s Life will take place at the Mid-County Senior Center at 829 Bay Ave, Capitola at 1pm September 29th. John will be interned in a private service at California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery at a later date.
Many special thanks to the angels that work at Hospice of Santa Cruz. Their support made it possible for John to stay at home until the end. This was always his wishes.
Please do not send flowers. Make contributions to Hospice of Santa Cruz at 940 Disc Dr. Scotts Valley, CA 95066.

Scroll to Top