Gettysburg, SD
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Leona Ritter

Leona Ritter, 83, Akaska, died Thursday, July 12, 2012 at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, Aberdeen. Funeral services were Tuesday, July 17 at the Akaska Community Center with Pastor Les Canfield leading the service. Burial followed at the Akaska Cemetery. Pianist was Dorcas Storer and ushers were Levi  Vander Vorst and Peter Hall.
Leona Grace Otto, daughter of Iva (Hawkinson) and Leon Otto, was born at Gettysburg on Feb. 17, 1929. When Leona was very young, her mother married Bob Beach. Leona considered Bob to be her dad. Leona was raised and educated in Gettysburg, graduating with the GHS Class of 1947. She then continued her education at Northern State College in Aberdeen where she earned her teacher’s certificate.
Leona accepted a teaching job at the Ritter School four miles south of Akaska. Leona married Ervin Ritter at Gettysburg on June 7, 1953. They settled on Ervin’s farm four miles south and ½ mile west of Akaska. Leona continued teaching until resigning to stay at home raising her children and helping on the farm.
Since September 2011, she resided at the Bowdle Nursing Home. Leona attended the Lowry Pilgrim Community Church and more recently attended Grace Bible Church in Gettysburg. Leona was a talented artist. Being a mother of seven, Leona was very busy, but when time permitted she was very good at painting and drawing. She also enjoyed quilting, crocheting, and sewing. Leona kept a large vegetable and flower garden. She will also be remembered as a pretty darn good cook.
Leona is survived by Ervin, her husband of 59 years; four sons: Royce Ritter and Daniel Ritter both of Akaska, Steven (Cindy) Ritter of Spokane Valley, WA, and David (Sherri) Ritter of Kingsford, CO; three daughters: Coletta (Ed) Mroszak of White Bear Lake, MN, Lynda (Gary) McKee of Quinton, OK, and Sandra (Jerry) Huseraux of New Franklin, MO; one brother Robert Otto of Enid, OK; one sister Alice Crothers of Geary, OK; 18 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; special nieces-Connie and Rosalyn Ritter of Akaska; and a sister-in-law Janice Ritter of Akaska.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a daughter-in-law (Marcie Ritter).
Casketbearers were Seth Ritter of Colvil, WA, Cody Ritter of Akaska, Dale McKee of Quinton,  Michael Mroszak of White Bear Lake, Tucker Ritter of Kingsford, and Scott Fink of Elsmere, NE.
To leave an online condolence or to view the tribute video, please visit
Lien Funeral Home of Bowdle is in charge of arrangements.