Sunday, June 09, 2002

Obituary: Betty Ritterhoff, 91, loved history, dance

UC graduate lived 73 years in Clifton

By Nicole Hamilton,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Community, family and education were interwoven in Betty Ritterhoff's life.

        A founding member of the Clifton Town Meeting, A. Elizabeth “Betty” Ritterhoff died June 2 at Rosewood Care Center in Moline, Ill., of heart failure.

        The 73-year Clifton resident was 91.

        “She had a very active, curious, inquisitive mind,” said her daughter, Ann Staubitz of South Hamilton, Mass.

        Ms. Staubitz described her mother as “poised” but with the ability to find humor in the everyday.

        Raised in Clifton, Mrs. Ritterhoff graduated from Hughes High School in 1925 and continued her education at the University of Cincinnati, where she earned a bachelor's degree in home economics in 1932.

        While at UC, she was a dancer for the theater department's musical productions, and performed at the Albee Theatre with the Bob Hope Show.

        She met Robert Ritterhoff at UC and married him in 1934.

        In the 1960s, she helped form the Clifton Town Meeting, which supports and encourages small businesses on Ludlow Avenue.

        At age 65, she returned to UC, where she studied Spanish, French, Italian, Latin and many other subjects as a student enrolled in the senior audit program.

        She also rekindled her desire to dance, taking ballet classes at UC's College-Conservatory of Music for several years.

        A supporter of the Cincinnati Ballet, Mrs. Ritterhoff was a season ticketholder who held the same seats for 30 years.

        Born into the Shriver family — whose members can trace their roots back to pre-revolutionary days — Mrs. Ritterhoff was fascinated with history.

        Her grandfather was a medical doctor in the rural town of Waynesborough, Pa., and she donated several of his medical devices to Historic Southwest Ohio, an educational institution at Sharon Woods.

        About seven years ago, Mrs. Ritterhoff moved to Illinois to be closer to her son, Eric Ritterhoff of Rock Island.

        Her husband, Robert Ritterhoff, preceded her in death in 1989.

        In addition to her daughter and son, survivors include another daughter, Elizabeth L. Moore of Greenley, Colo.; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

        Services have been held.

        Burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Montgomery.

        Memorials: Historic Southwest Ohio, Inc., P.O. Box 62475, Cincinnati 45262.


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