Major Jerry D. Ritter, U.S. Army retired, met his final formation on the 11th of September 2020. He passed away at the age of 85 from complications of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was born August 20, 1935 in Alden, Kansas, the son of Victor and Geneva Ritter. He later moved to Sterling, Kansas with his family and graduated from Sterling High School.
He served in the U.S. Army and obtained the rank of Major; he then retired from active duty with the Mississippi Army National Guard as a Sergeant Major. His combined service was thirty-two years, two-months and twenty-two days.
He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers, John, a Retired Marine with service in Korea and Gene, an Army Medic with service in Korea and Germany.
Major Ritter served in Korea, The Cuban Missile Crisis, Germany and Vietnam, where he served in heavy combat during the TET Offensive, January 31, 1968.
Among his personal decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Korean Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal with four Campaign Stars. Among his Unit decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, RVN Cross of Gallantry with Palm, RVN Civil Affairs Honor Medal. Among his Mississippi Army National Guard decorations are the Mississippi Magnolia Cross, Mississippi Magnolia Medal, and Mississippi Commendation Medal.
He was a life member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years Freddie Jean (Powell); they met in New York and married on September 26, 1959, and his children, Dawnita of Jackson, Eric (Mary) of Madison and Pamela (Alan) Travelstead of Terry, as well as seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Monday, September 14, 2020 at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland, Mississippi beginning at 1:00 p.m. A graveside service will follow at Parkway Memorial Cemetery beginning at 2:00 p.m.