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Deacon Torling D. Ritter, Jr.

February 28, 1937 January 30, 2019
Deacon Torling D. Ritter, Jr.
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Obituary for Deacon Torling D. Ritter, Jr.

Deacon Torling D. Ritter Jr. known affectionately as “Junie” to his family, was born to the
late Deacon Torling D. Ritter Sr. and his first wife, Hazel Brabham, February 28,
1937. When he was seven years old, his birth mother became ill and passed
suddenly. A year later, Torling, Sr. met and married Mamie Myers who became
Junie’s loving mother. Junie soon became big brother to five brothers and sisters
born to Torling Sr. and Mamie. He attended York City public schools and
graduated from William Penn Sr. High School. It was there that his friends, and
later the larger City of York community, began calling him Rit, a nickname that
followed him the rest of his life.

After graduation, Rit became a mainstay in bustling Downtown York as a salesman
at Sol Kessler’s Records, York City’s premiere music and electronics store located
on S. George Street. His tenure at Sol Kessler’s was personally and professionally
significant; ingraining him in the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life
and came to define Rit’s lifelong passion for Jazz music.

For the next several decades, Rit became a jazz historian, commentator, and
weekly radio host and was known throughout southeastern Pennsylvania as “Rit -
The Record King”. He developed a comprehensive collection of thousands of jazz
recordings and especially his favorite musician Miles Davis. He introduced many
customers, friends and listeners, alike, to the latest jazz artist and recordings. He
loved to hear live jazz and he and friends traveled to concerts in many cities along
the east coast. Most notably the Newport Jazz Festival where he heard and
observed Thelonious Monk, one of his favorite musicians. His knowledge of jazz
history and contemporary artists was unmatched in York and the larger
surrounding communities. He was respected and well liked by all he touched. Jazz
was truly his vocation and passion.

His love for jazz was only surpassed by the love of his life. On July 28, 1968 he
married, Elizabeth Carter his life partner for half a century. Together they enjoyed
years of family gatherings and entertaining and of course jazz concerts. Although
no children were born to this union, he loved children and enjoyed entertaining
nieces and nephews with stories and jokes and, of course, jazz whenever they
came to town. They were the godparents of Kelby Ritter, Sr. They also developed
a close and lasting relationship with a niece, Miyoshi Powell who lived with them
for a short period of time during her youth. In 2010 they relocated to Aldie, VA to
be near Miyoshi and her family.

At a young age, Rit accepted Christ as his personal Savior and was baptized at
Bethlehem Baptist Church. He was an active participant in Sunday School and
BYPU. As an adult he continued his involvement in the life of the church. He was
ordained as a deacon by Rev. Dr. Aaron Willford, Jr. at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
He faithfully kept this calling until poor health and relocation to Virginia made it
impossible for him to carry out his duties.

He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Elizabeth Carter Ritter, two sisters,
Ruth Marable (Charles) of Richmond, VA; Deborah Ritter-Grant of York, PA. Three
brothers: Bentley Ritter, Sr. (Marva) of Somerdale, NJ; Joseph Ritter of
Philadelphia, PA and Edwin Louis Ritter of Richmond, VA. A host of nieces,
nephews’ other relatives and friends will cherish his memory.

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Previous Events





9:00 AM 2/8/2019 9:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 2/8/2019 11:00:00 AM
Bethlehem Baptist Church

474 S. Pershing Avenue
York, PA 17401

Bethlehem Baptist Church
474 S. Pershing Avenue York 17401 PA
United States





11:00 AM 2/8/2019 11:00:00 AM
Bethlehem Baptist Church

474 S. Pershing Avenue
York, PA 17401

Bethlehem Baptist Church
474 S. Pershing Avenue York 17401 PA
United States

Cemetery Details


Mt. Rose Cemetery Final Resting Place

1502 Mt. Rose Avenue
York, PA 17403

1502 Mt. Rose Avenue York 17403 PA
United States

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