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Maurice C. "Slim" Ritzman

Maurice C. "Slim" Ritzman, age 89, of Wall, SD, died Sunday, February 27, 2005, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Services were held Wednesday, March 2, at the First Lutheran Church in Wall with Pastor Monty Dell officiating.

Interment with military honors by the Sturgis Honor Guard was Wednesday at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

Maurice C. Ritzman, better known as "Slim" to his family and friends, was born June 28, 1915, in Quinn, SD, the son of Charles and Sadie (Knorr) Ritzman. He grew up and received his education in Quinn, graduating from Quinn High School in 1934. As a young man he worked for various farmers and ranchers in the Quinn area.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army during WWII serving from July 24, 1942, through October 23, 1945. During this time, Maurice received a Purple Heart after serving in the European and African Theatre.

Maurice was united in marriage to Opal K. Pippert on April 8, 1943, in Rapid City, SD.

After his honorable discharge from the Army, he returned to the Quinn area. Maurice and Opal ranched in the Peno Basin area for 34 years. In 1980, they sold their ranch and moved onto the Fred Lewis place northwest of Wall. From 1981 until 1996, Slim worked for Floyd Sawvell wheat farms during the spring and fall.

Maurice's wife, Opal, preceded him in death on January 29, 1991.

He continued to reside on the Lewis place until the fall of 1997, when he moved into the Prairie Village Apartments. He later moved into Fox Run Assisted Living in Rapid City, where he resided until the time of his death.

Maurice was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Wall and a life member of the F.J. Willuweit VFW Post #9120. Maurice had also served as Peno Township Clerk for many years as well as treasurer of the Peno Basin Water System.

Grateful for having shared his life are one brother, Howard Ritzman of Rapid City; two sisters, Lila Laustrup of Ukiah, CA, and Eva Whalen of Rapid City; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Maurice was preceded in death by his wife, Opal; one sister, Vera G. Cochran; and two brothers, George and Floyd.

A memorial has been established to First Lutheran Church in Wall.