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Obituary: Rittenhouse, Howard

Age 90

RITTENHOUSE, Howard January 29, 1923-May 13, 2013 Howard Rittenhouse slipped peacefully away in his sleep on May 13, 2013 at his home in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. He leaves behind his loving family, sons Harry and Jerry, daughters-in-law Susan Saiget Rittenhouse and Yvonne Rittenhouse, sister-in-law Georgia Gilcrease, granddaughters Renee (Leif) Wanager and Lara Rittenhouse, great granddaughters Carly and Abi Wanager, nieces Gloria Cooper and Diana Maranhao and their spouses, George and Steve, nephew Bill Stewart and his wife Donna, many great nieces and nephews and their children. Howard was born on January 29, 1923 to Charles Elsworth and Edna Griffin Rittenhouse in Deer Park, Washington. He was the youngest of two brothers, Ray and Swede, both of whom preceded him in death. His father was a blacksmith and all round handyman by day, a vocation that would move the family to Moses Lake and to Port Angeles where Howard spent most of his growing years. The five family members formed a band that played evenings at clubs and social gatherings throughout the state. Stories were told about Howard, the young trumpet player in the band, being smuggled into the club to avoid being singled out as a juvenile that was breaking curfew. Howard loved music, a passion that would eventually lead to meeting the love of his life, Charlotte (Lottie) Panes. The story goes that he was playing in a band at Republic, Washington on New Years Eve 1947 when he caught the eye of a pretty young lady who had him in her sights from the dance floor edge. They were married on November 21, 1948 and spent every day of their lives together until her passing. Howard was deeply devoted to Lottie and their love for each other was evident to all who knew them. In her final years of illness, he never left her side, gently caring for her and nurturing her until the end. Howard, Lottie and boys left Republic in 1956 to move to Spokane where he drove the city transit bus. Howard was very proud that he maintained a current drivers license to his death and took pride in the recognition he received in his 90th year for his pristine (no tickets, no accidents—ever!) driving record. In 1966, the Rittenhouses moved to Tacoma, where Howard worked in the lumber industry and helped Lottie in her various business ventures involved in sales. In 1975, they migrated to Canada, where he worked for a time in the lumber industry, then finally retiring. Each family member has memories of times spent with Howard that included explorations down roads unknown, family gatherings at Leavenworth, picnics, fishing at Curlew Lake, eating ice cream and Howard’s pan fried fish, homemade root beer, trips to the zoo, swimming at Comstock park, birthday celebrations, clam digging on the coast, riding along with Howard on his city bus route, exploits of the dog, Rocky, Howard’s pet ducks and countless other cherished moments. It is hard to put to words what Howard meant to all of his family. We cannot imagine a world without him. His nephew, Bill Stewart, put it this way. “If only Uncle Howard knew what a legacy he left on this earth. To have every family member love him so and to cherish the special moments we all shared with him. If we could all be so lucky to be so loved.” Howard Rittenhouse is preceded in death by his parents Charles and Edna, brothers Ray and Swede, infant son Charles Howard, son Bobby, and beloved wife Charlotte.