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Willard "Mike" Ritchey, 85

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Willard "Mike" Ritchey, age 85, of Maiden Rock, died Thursday, Feb. 20, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn.

He was born the son of Christopher and Mary (Bledsoe) Walden Ritchey on Jan. 23, 1929, in St. Joseph, Mo. He grew up in Missouri. Mike began his career in Road Construction which brought him to Wisconsin, where he met Colleen Field. They were married on July 20, 1956, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. They settled in the Maiden Rock area. Mike continued his career in road construction, working with various companies. He was a proud member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150.

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He enjoyed hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and cutting wood. There were many family camping trips and every year on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day, people came to "Ritchey's Ranch" to camp and cookout for the holiday. Mike was kind and generous. He was always willing to help others, and took his role as provider for his family very seriously.

He was preceded in death by his parents; loving wife, Colleen Ritchey; son, Walter Ritchey; brother, Robert Ritchey; sister, Sylvia Ready; and half-sisters, Effia Winneke, and Myrtle Burge.

Mike is survived by his children, Betty (Kevin) Herzberg, Robert (Judy) Ritchey, Patsy (Larry) Vegter, Rose Mary Ritchey, Beverly Ritchey, and Pauline (Allen) Gullickson; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces; nephews; relatives and friends.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 1, at the Maiden Rock United Methodist Church. Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Bakken-Young Funeral Home in Maiden Rock, and from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday at the church. Spring interment will be in the Maiden Rock Cemetery.

Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of Maiden Rock.

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