George A. Ritchie

Published 12:57 pm Thursday, April 29, 2021

George A. Ritchie, 84, Unicoi, passed away Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at Johnson City Medical Center. He was a son of the late John K. and Hattie Love Ritchie.
George was born and raised in Stoney Creek but had lived in Unicoi most of his life. He was a 1955 graduate of Unaka High School where he played basketball and was known as Mr. Unaka or Hopper. He also attended Milligan College where he was the high jump champion. George was in the U.S. Army Reserves attending boot camp in Fort Jackson, S.C.
George retired from Flav-O-Rich Dairy after 30 years of service. He was a member of the Unicoi Masonic Lodge #681, Unicoi Shrine Club, Unicoi Ruritan Club, Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society, and served as the election commissioner in Unicoi for many years. He enjoyed watching his grandsons play ball and was known to many as “Daddy George.”
George was a faithful member of Unicoi United Methodist Church where he belonged to the New Beginnings Sunday School Class and sang in the choir.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Bill, Gebe and Gene Ritchie, and two sisters, Mary Lou Scott and Linda Littleton.
George leaves behind to cherish his memory his loving wife of 57 years, Nancy Seward Ritchie; two daughters, Ronda Simpson and husband Rob and Sharon Slagle and husband Donnie; three grandchildren, Connor Simpson, Clay Simpson and Lucas Slagle; and a brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, Randall and Gail Seward and Joann Ritchie. Many special nieces, nephews and cousins also survive.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 1, at the Unicoi United Methodist Church New Life Center. The funeral service will follow at 6 p.m. Dr. Mike Pinner will officiate. Pallbearers will be Connor Simpson, Clay Simpson, Lucas Slagle, Steve Scott, David Scott, Mike Scott and Bart Ritchie. The committal service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2, at Happy Valley Memorial Park, Elizabethton. Everyone is asked to meet at the cemetery at 1:55 p.m. Sunday. Due to COVID-19, please wear a face mask and practice social distancing for the safety of the family and those attending. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of Christian Care Center of Unicoi County for their love and care shown to George during his time there. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made in memory of George A. Ritchie to American Cancer Society donate3.cancer.org or the Shriners Children’s Hospital, Greenville, SC https://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/greenville Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Ritchie family at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com.
Unicoi Funeral Home, 4428 Unicoi Drive, Unicoi, is privileged to serve the Ritchie family. (423) 743-1380.

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