Jerold D. Rittel
Danner Funeral Home
Jerold D. (Jerry) Rittel, 80, passed away Sunday ,July 27th, in Abilene. He was born March 4, 1934 in Herington, the son of Louis and Mary (Hilderman) Rittel.
Growing up in the area, he attended local schools and graduated from Herington High School with the class of 1952. Jerry served in the U.S. Army, worked for Brown and Brown INC. as an asphalt laydown foreman, the Salina Fire Department and Salina Chamber of Commerce. He also helped start the Salina County Emergency Corp.
On September 20, 1958, Jerry married Janine Nichols. They lived in Herington where he worked for the Rock Island Railroad as a fireman, brakeman and conductor.
In 1960, they moved to Hope and he started a western store, painted fire trucks and helped start the Hope rural fire district. Jerry was Fire Chief for the district while employed with the Rock Island and served on the Hope City Council for two terms. In 1970, they moved the western store to Abilene and moved the family to a farm east of Enterprise in 1974 where he farmed and raised horses and cattle along with running the western store in Abilene. Jerry served two terms on the Kansas Paint Horse Board of Directors, Smoky Valley Railroad Board of Directors, member of the Rock Island Technical Society, Abilene Elks Lodge and American Legion Post 58.
Jerry shared his life with Janine until they divorced in 1989.
Survived by -
2 Daughters: Diana Verble, Topeka
Bonnie Kelley, Marcellus, NY
Son: Jay Rittel, Enterprise
3 Grandchildren: Cassie & Jake Verble, Topeka
Shyanna Rittel, Enterprise
Great-grandson: Carson Salsbury, Topeka
Funeral will be held 10:30 AM Friday, August 1st, from the Abilene First United Methodist Church with Rev. John Collins and Rev. Stan Norman officiating.
Cremation will follow.
The family will receive friends 5:30 to 6:30 PM Wednesday, July 30th, at the Danner Funeral Home.
The family suggests memorial contributions in his name be made to the Smoky Valley Railroad or the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo Committee. They may be left at the church the day of the service or left at or sent in care of the Danner Funeral Home POB 758 Abilene, Kansas 67410.