Mr. James “Red” Ritorto, 77 of Chippewa Township passed away on March 23rd, 2022 at the Good Samaritan Hospice in Beaver.
James was born July 31, 1944, the son of the late James Rocco Ritorto and Mary Ritorto of Ellwood City, Pa. James had two brothers, William and Thomas Ritorto and one sister, Patricia Ritorto.
James was a graduate of Lincoln High School class of 1962 in Ellwood City, Pa. Upon graduation, he attended Colorado State University on a full athletic scholarship for 2 years before moving back home to complete his mechanical-civil engineering degree at Geneva College.
After working in the natural gas field for many years, Red ended his professional career as a District Engineer for the Public Service Company of North Carolina. He retired at age 55 and returned home to buy a small farm in Lawrence County.
He is survived by his wife of almost 53 years, Carole (Hunt) Ritorto, his children, Jacob (Ashley) Ritorto and Jessica (Dave) Nicely, his grandchildren, Olivia, Isabella, Lucien, Silas, Cecelia, Ava, Reverie, and Simone and a great grandson, Luca. Nothing was more important to Red than his wife, his children, grandchildren, and great grandson, Luca.
In later life, Red and Carole spent many happy days in a little town in Florida, named Gulfport. He loved it there. He loved seafood, fishing, golfing, bike riding, and partying with friends.
On the day he left us, after hours of talking, praying and visiting, he asked to be left lone Tuesday night. He said he just needed to sleep a little and “all will be well at seven o’clock.” He spent a sleepless night and was in decline when we came back in the morning, eyes shut, managing only to mumble what sounded like “I love you” when we said it to him.
Then came a singular and abrupt lightning flash at the window and a delayed, low rumble of thunder. Our friends and family began sending photos of an incredible double rainbow at seven o’clock showing in the surrounding neighborhoods. He breathing had stopped.
Red always loved a spring or summer thunderstorm. He would take Jake and Jessica to the balcony or big back doors, fling them open to the storm, and just watch the grandeur of it.
We like to think the lightening was his goodbye and the rainbow was God letting us know he was safely Home.
We will miss him always.
Funeral arrangements are private, and have been entrusted to the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home and Crematory Inc..
A gathering to honor Red and his life will be held on May 7th at 7:00 pm at Sahli Nature Park, 194 McKinley Road in Chippewa Township. Please bring your stories. We ask for all family members and all of his friends to please join us and help celebrate our Pappy.