Ethel L. (Johnson) Ritchey, 77, passed away peacefully in Modesto on Thursday, Jan. 3 after a short illness.
She was born in Escalon, California, on March 14, 1935 and was the oldest daughter of Luther and Hazel Johnson. She graduated from Escalon High School in 1952. Her parents were the descendants of Swedish immigrants who came to the United States in the late 1800’s.
She worked for the Planning Department of the City of Modesto for 33 years, and she retired from her position in 1997. She was a longtime member of the Modesto Covenant Church, and she sang in the choir for a number of years.
She loved special family events, and she enjoyed playing the piano and singing at family gatherings. At Christmastime, she was always at the piano playing carols and leading the family in song. She liked country and gospel music, and she was especially fond of Broadway musicals. Her special musical touches will be sorely missed by the family.
Ethel also enjoyed swimming, reading and taking her little dog Henri for walks. A modest and kindhearted woman, she was unfailingly devoted and supportive to both friends and family.
Survivors include her son, David Ritchey of Modesto and her daughter, Anne Triplett of Alliance, Ohio; sister, Ruth Ann (Ronald) Cohagan of Escalon, and three brothers, Albert Johnson (Jackie) of Escalon, David Johnson of Oakdale, and Richard Johnson (Charlotte) of Escalon.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Alice Johansen, and parents, Luther and Hazel Johnson of Escalon.
Private services for the family will be held in Escalon, and interment will take place at Burwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Modesto Covenant Church or World Relief in her honor.