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Charles Herbert Ritchie, of China Grove, passed away Saturday, December 14, 2013 following a courageous battle with cancer. He was born May 28, 1946 to the late Lewis Edward Ritchie and Margaret Beasley Ritchie of China Grove, North Carolina
Following graduation from South Rowan High School, he served in the U. S. Army from 1965-1967. Having played the tuba since the fourth grade, he was honored to play the tuba in the U. S. Army’s 79th Army Band. Upon completion of basic training, he was assigned to the school of music in Norfolk, VA. He was then stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. The band travelled extensively through Central and South America as the Los Ambassadors de la Musica. He attained the rank of Spc. 4 and was awarded an honorable discharge.
Along with his father, he and his brothers were active in farming in the South Rowan area. They formed Ritchie Brothers, which produced vegetables, fruits, and poinsettias that were shipped through out the southeast. The Ritchie Farm dates back to 1872. Charles and his family were awarded numerous local and state farming awards. At the age of 40, Charles began a construction and development company building over 250 homes in eight sub-divisions.
Charles is survived by his wife, Joan Myers Ritchie, brothers Robert Ritchie, Ray Ritchie (Kay), Jimmy Ritchie (Judy) all of China Grove, NC and his constant companion Jennifer, a Yorkshire terrier. He is also survived by loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
A funeral service to celebrate his life will be held Thursday, December 19 at Concordia Lutheran Church, where he was a life long member. Preceding the service, the family will receive friends at 2:00 PM in the church’s Family Life Center. The memorial service will follow in the church sanctuary at 4:00 PM. Military graveside rites will be held in the church cemetery. At a later date, a private service will be held at the Ritchie Farm for family members.
Memorials may be made to the building fund at Concordia Lutheran Church, 185 Concordia Church Road, China Grove, NC 28023 or Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28081.
Carolina Cremation of Salisbury, North Carolina is assisting the Ritchie family. Online condolences may be made at www.carolinacremation.com.