George F. Ritchie

Published 5:31 pm Monday, October 29, 2018

George F. Ritchie, 88, died peacefully at home on October 26, 2018. He was born December 29, 1929 in Elizabethton, Tenn., son of Zella Taylor Ritchie and Fredric Payne Ritchie.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 37 years, Christine Ritchie, and brothers, Sam Ritchie and Hubert Fred Ritchie.
Mr. Ritchie attended Butler Elementary School and graduated from Elizabethton High School in 1947. He put himself through college delivering newspapers for the Elizabethton Star and the Johnson City Press. He graduated from East Tennessee State College with a bachelor’s degree in 1951. He also graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1959 with a Mechanical Engineering degree. He served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was a licensed Land Surveyor in the State of Tennessee. He was a long-standing member of Grace Fellowship Church in Johnson City where he was a member of the Men’s Bible Study Class.
George worked as Mechanical Design Engineer for Sperry Corporation, retiring in 1988. Due to his engineering talents, he was selected for many special projects. He designed key components used by NASA for the space program. His designs were on board many space shuttle and rocket launches.
He was an expert mechanic, welder and carpenter. His hobbies were motorcycles, woodworking and photography. He could repair or fix anything. He could take any piece of equipment apart and put it back together in his workshop. His favorite hobby was attending church and studying the Bible. He had read the Bible many times and could quote many verses. George was a wonderful father to his three daughters and set a good example for many people. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
He is survived by daughters, Karen Ritchie, Linda Ritchie and Syndee Cooper; grandchildren, Julia and Malachi Cooper; sisters, Hettie Ritchie Beasley and Gene Ritchie Hilton; and cousin, Lynn Kay Andrews.
In lieu of flowers, George had requested donations be made to Grace Fellowship Church, 2314 S. Greenwood Drive, Johnson City, TN 37604, 423-928-5601; or the Washington County Animal Shelter, 3411 N. Roan Street, Johnson City, TN 37604, 423-926-8769. Honorary pallbearers will be the Grace Fellowship Men’s Bible Study Class, especially Paul Bellamy, Rich Taylor, Larry Thompson and OJ Cain. Friends may visit at Tetrick Funeral Services, Johnson City, on Thursday, November 1, beginning at 4 p.m. with a memorial service following at 7 p.m. A short graveside service will be held Friday, November 2, at 11 a.m. at Happy Valley Memorial Park. Memories and condolences may be shared at
Tetrick Funeral Services, 3001 Peoples Street, Johnson City, TN 37604, 423-610-7171, is honored to serve the Ritchie family. This obit was provided by Mr. Ritchie’s loving family.

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