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William Wallace Ritchie

Obituary for William Wallace Ritchie

March 15, 1943 - December 6, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 74


William Wallace Ritchie passed away on December 6, 2017 in the presence of his loving family. Born March 15, 1943 in New York, Bronx County, to William Ritchie and Dorothy Lillian Schwalm Ritchie, William, or Bill as he was known to friends and family, spent his early childhood in New York. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, at that time an all boys high school. During high school, Bill played football, baseball and was a Golden Gloves amateur boxer. Having skipped the seventh grade, Bill began college at the age of sixteen at Southern Methodist University, where he had received an athletic scholarship to play baseball. He was once asked why he did not go on to play professional baseball as a pitcher and he said he knew he would never be good enough to get out of the minor leagues so he chose instead to get an education.

In 1965 Bill enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California and later was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. While in the Air Force, Bill was trained in multiple computer technologies. Following his military service, Bill returned to school and received both an undergraduate and master's degree from North Texas State University in 1975 and 1976 respectively. In 1977 Bill received a full scholarship to attend Duke University to work on his Phd. in political science. Just shy of six hours to complete all of his graduate coursework, family matters required Bill to return to Austin.

Bill met in 1983 the woman who would become his wife ten years later, Barbara Ann Buchler. On December 10, 1994, they were married in the University Presbyterian Church on the University of Texas campus. At the beginning of the ceremony, the minister said, "as we know, these two did not rush into this decision" and the entire church burst out laughing as it had taken a decade for the two to finally marry but marry they did. They had a deep and abiding love for one another, whether married or not, and experienced the joy of thirty-three happy years together.

For the rest of his career, Bill worked in the information systems field. He worked both in the public and private sector, including the Spectrum Group and BAE Systems and concluded his career with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Bill is survived by his wife, Barbara, his son, Stuart Andrew Ritchie and his daughter, Neilyn Celine Navarro and his only grandchild, Morgan Celine Navarro. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Austin Humane Society in his name as he loved all animals, great and small.

A celebration of his life is planned for January 16, 2018 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Etter-Harbin UT Alumni Center, 2110 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, Texas.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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