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Edith Ritchie November 11, 1929-September 13, 2023

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Edith Catherine (Lechnir) Ritchie, 93 of Prairie du Chien, WI, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, surrounded by her family at Bluff Haven in Prairie du Chien. 

She was born in Prairie du Chien on Nov. 11, 1929, the daughter of Wencil and Harriet (Boucher) Lechnir. Edith attended the one-room Hazen Corners School until seventh grade, when the family moved to Hanover, IL. 

Four years later the family returned to Prairie du Chien and Edith graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in 1947, the same school attended by her grandmother, Kate Fisher. Next, Edith attended Clarke College, Dubuque, IA, and La Crosse University (now UW-La Crosse). 

On October 14, 1950, Edith married Don Ritchie at St. John Nepomuc Church in Prairie du Chien, and the couple celebrated 72 years of marriage in 2022. Don and Edith operated Ritchie’s Jewelry in downtown Prairie du Chien from 1951 to 2016, with Edith filling various roles, such as managing the books, assisting customers, paying bills, ordering merchandise, and taking inventory. None of these jobs, though, was more important to Edith than taking care of her children. 

In her sixties when her children were out of the house, Edith discovered a love of and talent for cross stitch embroidery and created many beautiful panels and personalized Christmas stockings for everyone in the family. 

Edith is survived by her daughter Kim (Jim) Bergman of Portland, OR; son Ross (Pam) Ritchie and daughter Janet (Randy) Wachter, both of Prairie du Chien; seven grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandson; sister-in-law Jeanne Hampton of Bloomington, WI, and five nieces and one nephew. 

Edith was preceded by her husband Don and son James “Jimmy” Ritchie; her parents and brother, Lt. William Lechnir, killed during the Allied invasion of Normandy in WWII; sister-in-law Nancy Reiser; brothers-in-law Earl Reiser, Neil Hampton, and Cy Harris and his wife Etta. The family thanks Edith’s Bluff Haven staff for the kindness and compassion they showed to her.

A Memorial Mass of Resurrection will be Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Church of the Holy Family Parish, Msgr. Charles Stoetzel officiating, with inurnment in the Calvary Cemetery, both in Prairie du Chien. Friends may call at the church on Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass. There will be a reception with lunch in St. John’s Hall immediately after the Mass followed by the inurnment. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the charity of your choice. The Garrity Funeral Home of Prairie du Chien is assisting the family. www.garrityfuneralhome.com  

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