Ernest “Gebe” Ritchie, 74, of 1543 Highway 91, Elizabethton, passed away on Friday, October 11, 2013 at his residence following an extended illness.
He was a son of the late John and Hattie Love Ritchie and was born in Carter County. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Bill Ritchie and Gene Ritchie; two sisters, Mary Lou Scott and Linda Littleton.
Mr. Ritchie was a member of Stoney Creek Baptist Church and attended New Liberty Free Will Baptist Church. He retired from Summers-Taylor as a truck driver and had previously driven for Mason Dixon, ETW&C, and Beaunit. He was also a former bus driver with the Carter County School System.
For forty years, he was known as one of the best auctioneers in the area, having graduated from the Mendenhall School of Auctioneering, High Point, NC, in November 1969.
Mr. Ritchie was a United States Army veteran, having proudly served during the Vietnam Era. He spent many years with the Carter County Honor Guard and was a member of the American Legion Post #49, a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.
Mr. Ritchie was a lifetime member of the Carter County Rescue Squad and served fourteen years on the Carter County Board of Education and was presently serving on the Carter County Commission at the time of his death.
Mr. Ritchie is survived by his wife of twenty-five years, Lynice Williams Ritchie, of the home; one son, Doug Stevens and wife, Carrie, Elizabethton; two daughters, Wendy Sams and husband, Wayne, Elizabethton, Jenny Lockett and husband, Jerry, Water Park Fla.; three grandchildren, Josh Sams and wife, Brooke, Laikyn Stevens and J. Allen Lockett; one great-granddaughter, Emma Nichole Sams; one brother, George Ritchie and wife, Nancy.
The funeral service will be conducted at 8:00 PM on Sunday, October 13, 2013, in the Chapel of Peace of Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, with Rev. Ray Colbaugh and Rev. Eric Heaton officiating. Music will be under the direction of Mr. Kenny Greer and Mr. Dennis Laws.
The family will receive friends from 5:30-8:00 PM prior to the funeral service in the chapel or at the residence at other times.
The graveside service and interment will be conducted at 1:00 PM on Monday, October 14th at the Ritchie Cemetery. Military honors will be accorded by the Carter County Honor Guard. Active pallbearers will be Steve Scott, Mike Scott, David Scott, Bart Ritchie, Donnie Dean Slagle and Rob Simpson. Honorary pallbearers will be his very special best friend Henry Wayne Ensor, Dallas Sams, Richard Williams, Aubrey Ensor, Ken Calloway, Keith Bowers Jr., Keith Bennett, Jack Love, Lawrence Ritchie, Johnny Davis, Dewey Renfro, Howard Hoilman, Ronnie Ritchie, all members of the Carter County Commission and all of his auction family.
The family would like to extend a very special thank you to Caris Hospice and staff especially Amanda, Vonda, Misty and Shannon.
Everyone will meet at the funeral home and 12:15 PM Monday for the graveside service.
Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers may make donations to Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 17, 1601 Scenic Drive, Elizabethton, TN 37643.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.tetrickfuneralhome.com and signing the guest book.
Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, is serving the Ritchie family. Office 423 542-2232, Obituary line 543-4917.