Xenia, Ohio, 1933-2001
Gerard Francis Ritzel, a former Catholic priest who grew up in Buffalo, died Saturday (March 3, 2001) in Greene Memorial Hospital, Xenia, Ohio, after a long illness. He was 68.
A native of Cleveland, Ritzel attended St. Martin’s School in Buffalo, NY before entering the seminary in Canton, Ohio. He was ordained as a member of the society of the Precious Blood in 1960 and spent eight years as a missionary in Chile.
Upon returning to this country, he decided to leave the priesthood and had various jobs, including teaching in Catholic schools and serving as administrator of an English as a second language program in Piqua, Ohio.
He retired in 1996 due to health problems but continued to volunteer his services. He most recently served as chaplain at Dayton Mental Health Center and volunteered at Our Lady of Rosary School, Xenia, where his wife of 30 years, the former Genevieve Deitering, is principal.
He is also survived to two sons, Fernando and Marty, both of Xenia, and three grandchildren.