Ritter, Kenneth

Dr. Kenneth Mark Ritter

May 18, 1944 - February 3, 2021

Dr. Kenneth Mark Ritter took his last earthly breath on February 3, 2021, at the age of 76 in McKinney, Texas, with his loving wife by his side.  He fought a valiant fight, but, sadly, passed away due to Covid-19.  Ken was born in Santa Barbara, California on May 18, 1944. When Ken was one year old, his family moved to Santa Cruz, California where he resided until he graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1962. During that time, Ken learned to love the ocean, the beach, and spent countless years fishing off the pier near his home.

He enlisted into the US Navy and left for basic training on August 28, 1962 and served three tours in Vietnam, as an Aviation Structural Mechanic for the Attack Squadron 212 aboard the USS Hancock. Upon returning from serving his country, Ken met and married his first wife, Jacqueline Renee Todd, on April 15, 1967.  They were later sealed in the LDS St. George Temple on December 17th, 1971. Three children blessed that marriage, Rebekah Eliason, Sarah Swindel and Joshua Ritter.

He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in many capacities. Ken served as a seminary teacher, as well as the Gospel Doctrine teacher for over 15 years. He was a counselor in the Bishopric and enjoyed serving in the Single Adult Ward. Ken loved to serve weekly as a Temple Ordinance Worker at the Fresno Temple. He believed the greatest gift in life was his relationship with his Heavenly Father.

Ken graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1981 and earned his Chiropractic degree. He opened Ritter Family Chiropractic in Fresno, California in 1982 and served many members of the community, as well as many athletes from Fresno State University, for 40 years.

Ken had a love for his country, he enjoyed vacationing with his family, golfing, and watching the San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants play. He loved singing with his quartet, where he fostered many relationships.  He was known for his sense of humor, quick wit, infectious smile, and kind and compassionate spirit.

In 2015, Ken met the woman he chose to spend the rest of his life with, Donna Marie Helwig. They were married and sealed in the Fresno Temple on June 18, 2016. In the short five years they were together, they filled their time with travel, cruises, family vacations, concerts, children’s plays, entertaining, and their love of Disneyland. Donna’s family filled Ken’s life with much needed, and appreciated, unconditional love and adoration. 

Ken is survived by his three children and his three loving stepchildren, Ricci (Ryan) Quill, Nicholas (Kendra) Lehr, and Victoria (Joel) Dimas.  He is also survived by fourteen grandchildren, Megan and Brandon Eliason, Jordan, Taylor and Mason Swindel, Zachary, Logan and Leah Ritter, Garrett and Aleksia Quill, Johnathan and Genevieve Lehr, and Abigail and Benjamin Dimas. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Jacqueline Ritter, his mother and father, Fred and Justine (Fleming) Ritter, his brother Lawrence Ritter, and his two infant children Matthew and Rachel Ritter.

Ken will honorably be buried at the DFW National Cemetery on February 22, 2021 at 11:30AM (CST).  A memorial service in his honor will be held later in California.  In lieu of flowers contributions to Wounded Warrior Project would be appreciated, in memory of Dr. Kenneth Mark Ritter.

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I have know Dr Ritter for many years as my Chiropractor. He was also my friend! We had many conversations about the Lord! I was blessed to know him! I will miss him! May the Lord comfort you Donna! 
Kathleen Cheeseman, February 24, 2021 Over the years I have enjoyed my association with you, Donna while serving as your Bishop in Livermore California. I am sorry that you have lost this dear man who came into came into your life and made it more blessed. I never had the opportunity to get acquainted with your husband but your love of him was evident by the description that you gave of him, my loss. Our youngest daughter lives in Milpitas Ca and I am going to be traveling up your way this week. If you are interested send me an e-mail and we will stop and visit for a little while. If you are too busy just let me know. My e-mail address is above or 925 577 4293. Love Bro. Totten. John J Totten, February 23, 2021 Donna, Ken spoke of you glowingly, acutely aware of the pain you had already been dealt. You saved him, you know. He was so happy in your relationship. His passing is deep loss, his presence was such joy. Wishing you peace in memory. Terry Menz, February 21, 2021 Mike and I send our condolances to you, Donna and your entire Family. Mike & I were Dr. Ken's patients and biggest fans! He was a true light in the world! He was always "Available" to each patient, not only as a doctor, as an amazing healer....but also as a friend. He had open & listening ears and an open, caring and huge heart! We always loved the doctor-patient time that we had with him. His smile was infectious and he was so giving to everyone. He will be sadly missed. The one wonderful thing is....that Life IS eternal...so we all be seeing each other again....somewhere in time! Blessings and Love to you, Donna, and to your entire Family. Mike Ryan & Lia Segerblom, February 19, 2021 I'm gonna miss you friend. 20 + years was not enough. Glad you are in Texas, see you on the other side buddy. Much love and respect. Valerie Costa , February 19, 2021 Dr. Ritter was my Chiropractor for the last 36 years. Also my 4 children’s for the last several years. My Youngest is a football player and couldn’t wait to go see him to talk sports and get adjusted before a game. I can’t tell you how sad I was to hear the news of his passing. I will never forget our endless talks during treatment. He was someone that will always hold a special place in my heart. We were both widowed and both remarried in a short time after. I know this path was hard for family. I pray his children knew how much he loved them even though they disagreed with his choices. I will never forget you Dr. Kenneth Ritter, this world has lost a very special Man. I Thank God you are in his arms! Shelley Telen-Wiens, February 15, 2021 Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your life. I certainly have fond memories of the times we shared. Looking forward to seeing you again on the other side. Maybe we can sing some more. Ron Laing, February 15, 2021 Thanks for the wonderful life you lived and all the memories! Love you Ken and Donna!
Robyn Laing, February 15, 2021 Although we have not met, I live in Liberty in Melissa and wanted to reach out and tell you how very sorry I am for your loss. I live on Jersey Rd and would like to help in anyway I can. I am currently out of state however should be back by the end of the month. Please feel free to reach out to me. With my best wishes and condolences, Lisa Herr 703-772-1661 Lisa Herr, February 15, 2021 There is so much I could say about my friend Ken. How I loved this man. Since we know that life is eternal, I will continue to love him for I know that even as I write this message, he is alive and in a realm that we can only imagine. There are many people that I look forward to seeing again in the eternities-Ken is at the top of the list. Ken was one of the best chiropractors I ever met. He did so much for my back in the way of healing. Ken commanded respect with a gentle smile. His beautiful spirit was shadowed only by his huge gentile heart. Ken walked the walk in all aspects of life. Until the day arrives that I can once again give him a man hug, I will miss him. Ken Ritter-priesthood holder, Vietnam Veteran, friend, shining example to all. A life well lived. I love you-see you soon. Roger Hayward, February 14, 2021 Dr. Ritter was a wonderful Chiropractor and friend. Sir, RIP. My deepest sympathy to his family.
Maria Perez, February 14, 2021 Please accept my condolences on Ken's death. He was such a kind and gentle man. This story illustrates that. When my daughter, Kelli, was about 11 or 12 years old she got up one Sunday morning with a sore knee and was limping. We went to church and after Sacrament Meeting I saw Ken as we were leaving the chapel. I asked him if he would have time on Monday to see her in his office. He said that of course he would. And then he watched her limping down the hall and the look on his face was so full of love and sympathy. He called her back to him. He sat her down on the couch in the east foyer of the Alluvial Building and treated her right there--fixed the problem. She was so surprised--as was I that he would do that for her. I have never forgotten it. He was a wonderful example of a follower of Christ. You are in my prayers that His spirit will sustain you; Arlene Arlene Wadsworth, February 13, 2021 I’ll always remember his kindness to the single/widowed sisters in the Ward. He would make sure we were remembered on every holiday. He always greeted me at Church and made me feel welcomed. Kathryn Cane, February 13, 2021 Dear Donna: You have shown your faith is sustaining you during the loss of your beloved Ken. Our faith sustains us as well, even as we know we will see him again. But we will miss his presence here on earth: Ken always embraced life and lived and loved with such joy. You contributed to that joy giving him a glorious last five years. All of us who loved Ken will be forever grateful to you for those years and share your grief with his passing into eternity until you meet again. Always in our hearts and prayers! With love Janice Janice Stevens, February 12, 2021 I want you to know of my deep personal love and appreciation for Ken. He is one of the most selfless, courageous, Christlike men I have ever known. His kindness and genuine love and unwavering good cheer has left a lasting impact on my life. I also express my love and gratitude for you Donna. Even though I have not gotten to have a lot of personal interaction with you, each time I do, I am touched by the same love and authenticity that Ken emulated. You guys were just such a perfect match. You radiate faith and Christlike love. I’m so grateful you and Ken found each other. I’m certain it was by divine design. Thank you for your influence. Thank you for being such a joy to Ken- one of Gods great men! LeGrand Laing, February 12, 2021 May all your memories with Ken bring you and your family comfort and peace. The love and joy you had together was captured in your photos, you could just feel the adoration. Sending prayers for strength to guide you in this difficult time. John and Gayle Chandler, February 11, 2021 Dearest Donna and family. We are so blessed to have had Ken & you as friends in our life. We will carry all the memories we have shared with both of you through out our life. These wonderful memories help to lessen the sorrow of being separated for now. I know we will share this eternal friendship beyond the veil. Much love to you our dearest friend
Janice & Joel Melton, February 11, 2021 Ken will be greatly missed. His sweet smile and wonderful personality always made you feel like family. Our prayers are with you guys during this time and the months to come. Love y'all Jennifer Templeton, February 11, 2021 Our hearts are broken knowing that Ken is no longer here. He was so kind and had such a loving spirit and always had a smile on his face. He was one of the first people to welcome us when we moved from Greece, every Sunday he would welcome us and give us a hug. He will be missed beyond what words can express. He was an earthly angel and is now a heavenly angel that we will all love forever and never forget! Deepest condolences to his family and sweet wife Donna! Sending our love and hugs at this hard time!
Dominique & Niko Angelakis , February 11, 2021 To the Ritter family We are all saddened by the loss of such a wonderful man. My experience with him as a doctor has been so comforting. He has always made me feel confident in how he took care of me. Just recently after oral surgery I was sure my jaw was out of alignment since I kept biting my cheek. Dr Ritter said “I can fix that” and he did exactly that. I walked out pain free. But more importantly was that he always treated me as though I was his most important patient as he did every patient. His conversation and infectious smile was so contagious. His home going is such a loss to his patients but even more so for his family. May his memory live on in your hearts.Affectionately, Nita Mitchell Nita Mitchell, February 11, 2021 Donna and family, We love Ken and we love you, Donna. Thank heavens for the resurrection, the sealing power, and eternal identity as a child of God. We will see Ken again. The same sociality that exists here also exists there. We will enjoy the celestial version of Hand and Foot at some future time. God bless and comfort you until that joyful time. Your faithful friends, Lane and Tonja
Lane Yarrington, February 10, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for y’all. Love to you all. Shelia Nordin, February 10, 2021 Dr. Ritter you will be missed and never forgotten. Donna remember you brought so much love and happiness to his life. Chuck and Joyce Crane, February 10, 2021 Jim and I loved Dr. we had gone to him for years and became good friends over time. We certainly will miss his wonderful hands treating our bodies and how wonderful we felt when we walked out of his office. Prayers and love to Donna and family
Kathleen Lehman, February 10, 2021
I am at a loss for words in hearing of the passing of Dr Ritter. Dr Ritter has been my chiropractor for many years, seeing him on an average 10-12 times a month. I truly enjoyed not just the fact that he kept me aligned and pain free, but in our talks on a variety of subjects two guys could enjoy. Baseball, football, family friends, politics, the topics were many. But they always ended with a smile, a handshake, and with a “l’ll see you next month!” Sad that there will be no next month. RIP Dr Ritter, my friend. Froy Ramirez, February 10, 2021 We are saddened by the death of Ken. We know that he brought much love and joy to many people. Especially Donna and her children and grandchildren. I know they are mourning deeply but that they are strengthened by the knowledge that they will be with him again. Arno and Gail Sturgeon, February 10, 2021 Sending my deepest condolences and prayers that the family will be lifted up in spirit. .Lovingly, Sheila 
Sheila Brown, February 10, 2021 Donna, we have been grateful to have been able to get to know Ken, as your Canadian friends we were blessed with your visits, Ken’s ability to be interested and talk to anyone he met made it easy to have you at our home and tour the countryside. I am glad he experienced our 50 plus years of friendship and laughter. To know that he was so happy to have you in his life made it easier for your family to love and visit you often, he will be forever in your hearts. 
Donna and Angus Mccallum, February 10, 2021 He gave love and received love. May he Rest In Peace. Cheri Nelson, February 10, 2021