January 26, 1949 – November 29, 2021
Rural Idaho County, Idaho – Roger Melvin Ritter (aka Rog, Rogy, Roger Ramjet), of McCall, ID passed away on November 29, 2021. He was sitting at the ranch at Hettinger Ranch in the mountains of central Idaho , (60 mi. NE of McCall). Although this is the area where he finally wanted to cash in his chips, the passage came far too soon. He suffered a heart attack less than two months after his 73rd birthday.
Born January 26, 1949 in Twin Falls, ID to Pete and Katherine (Kate) Ritter, he was the 2nd oldest among seven Ritter children, including Rick, Vianne, John, Steve, Tim and Scott. Due to Pete’s work, the family later moved to Garden Valley, then White Bird, and eventually settled on the Council when Roger was in 4th grade.
Mom’s favorite Roger was a quiet, unique kid who excelled in school (A’s, class president) and active in sports (basketball, 8-a-side football, track). He also played the trumpet in the school orchestra, was editor of the school sports journal, and bareback rodeo rider. In the tradition of the regional rodeo, he was famous for surviving a 30- to 40-foot “skylight” launch from a horse at the Cambridge Rodeo. A fleeing bareback mount suddenly came to a halt and sent Roger flying as high as the arena lights, landing in the capture enclosures at the far end of the arena.
A true mountaineer in love with fishing, horses and especially hunting from an early age. He started taking overnight hunting trips when he was 12, which then turned into four days by the time he was in grade two. Over the years, Roger has hunted every big game imaginable in Idaho. Several of his trophies can still be seen mounted at Lardo’s Saloon in McCall.
After graduating from Council High School in 1967, he spent five years attending the University of Idaho. He was a former student of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) with his older brother Rick, where he made several lifelong friends. In his second grade he met his future wife Juanita Nelson (Belvie), who was still attending high school in Council.
In the spring of 1972 he obtained degrees in commerce and economics. Roger and Belvie then moved to Boise and got married at St. Paul’s Catholic Center near the BSU campus later that year. Roger quickly became a fixture in the field of local residential real estate valuation. His first employer was Provident Federal, where he quickly became their chief appraiser. He obtained his SRA (Senior Residential Appraiser) designation from the Society of Real Estate Appraisers and was a distinguished member of the local. He then set up his own business, The Real Estate Appraisal Company. And even ventured to Alaska to work during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. After the 1980s, he mostly worked alone unless he trained a son, daughter or nephew as an assistant. Roger continued his career as an evaluator until the day of his death.
Roger was 27 when he and Belvie had their first child, Kevin, followed by Tara less than two years later. To say he was a devoted father would be an understatement. He was an active parent with basketball (he coached three youth teams), skiing, snowmobiling, jet skiing, boating, fishing, travel, and Vandal football games. He would even go so far as to obtain passes for his son during BSU / Idaho games. He would not miss the sports games of his children, with the exception of a few hunting trips. Her dedication to the family continued with her grandchildren. He cherished and spoiled Jakob, Lola, Sadie and Senna, who all called him Daddy. He had a special bond with the eldest, Jakob, and in some ways served more as a father. Roger was Jakob’s biggest fan and never missed his basketball games.
He has always been active, living by the expression “work hard and play hard”. In the 1980s, he was one hell of a racquetball player in the courthouse. He was a better cook than most. He was an independent and robust man who was tough as a boot. And he lived on his own terms and according to his time (i.e. Roger Time), especially during the hunting season. He had several simple and famous sayings, including “There are no guarantees”. and “You cannot take it with you.”. He was extremely generous to those he knew and often made donations to the University of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, among others. He was a dog lover, or rather dogs loved him. Especially Ruby, who has never left him, including at the very end.
Although Roger was generally a man of few words, he had countless friends and could be the life of the party. Especially when you do the famous “Gator” dance. He had a dry sense of humor and a mischievous smile. He often laughed if you asked him a question. And was famous for his long breaks, leading some to think he had hung up on him.
If you were having a hard time finding him, your best shot at McCall would be his hangout, Lardo’s Grill, where he would have a few crown presses with his second family of friends McCall, who loved him very much. To his many friends at McCall, he was the true “most interesting man in the world”.
Roger was predeceased by his brother Scott, his father Pete, his mother Kate and his brother Tim. He is survived by his son Kevin, his daughter Tara, his grandson Jakob, his granddaughters Lola, Sadie and Senna, his brothers Rick (Terri), John and Steve (Cindy) and his sister Vianne.
A “celebration of life” for Roger is scheduled for Jan. 4 at McCall’s Lardo’s Saloon. The start time is 2:30 p.m. Prepare to share a story.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the University of Idaho Foundation, in memory of Roger Ritter (875 Perimeter Dr., Mail Stop # 3143, Moscow, ID 83844-3143).
GO THE VANDALS.
We love you, Roger.
Posted by Idaho Statesman on Dec 12, 2021.