Russell “Rusty” Ray Ritnour, 83, of Creston passed away Friday January 26, 2018 at his home, surrounded by family.
A celebration of his life will be held Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Pearson Family Funeral Service Cremation Center in Creston. Pastor Jodi Rushing will officiate. Visitation with family receiving friends will be Tuesday, January 30, 2018 from 5pm-7pm at the funeral home in Creston. Online condolences may be left at www.pearsonfuneralhomes.com. Memorial contributions may be directed to the First United Methodist Church of Creston /or VFW Post #1797 of Creston.
Russell Ray Ritnour, son of Floyd and Delilah (Means) Ritnour, was born November 20, 1934 in Montgomery County Iowa. Russell attended Corning High School until 1953. He then enlisted in the United States Navy and served 24 years, 16 ½ of those years as a Navy Seal. He served on several ships including destroyers, troop transports and helicopter carriers. He served at the end of the Korean War as part of an underwater demolition team. He was stationed at Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban Missile Crisis and he was involved in frogman operations during the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba in April 1961. He served 6 tours in the Vietnam War including assignments with Special War Group Boat Support Unit 1 where he commanded torpedo “spook” boats engaging in clandestine operations. Russell was involved in the recovery of the Apollo 14 space capsule while he was aboard the USS New Orleans in February 1971. Russell was wounded several times during his service and lost many dear friends. Russell retired from the United States Navy on November 30, 1976.
In 1959, Russell married Georgia Loomis and later divorced. He later married Dorothy Ann Dillinger on April 3, 1975 in Maryville, MO. Russell began working for the United States Postal Service in 1979 in Des Moines. Russell and Dorothy relocated to Creston in 1980 where he continued to work for the Postal Service until he retired in 1996. Russell and Dorothy built and moved to Ridgetop Farms in 1991, where Russell farmed until 2007. Russell was an avid motorcycle rider. He and Dorothy enjoyed riding their motorcycle across the United States on many different trips. They were active members of the Christian Motorcycle Association for many years.
Russell was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Creston, the VFW, the American Legion, the Fleet Reserve Association, the Crest City Lodge 522 AFAM, and the DAV.
Russell is survived by his wife of 42 years, Dorothy Ritnour of Creston; sons: Randall Ritnour and significant other Vanessa Emlich, Lendall (Marlene) Ritnour, both of Lincoln NE; step-daughters: Christine O’Clair of Monticello and Angela (Ron) White of Creston; step-son, Greg Brokaw and significant other Sherry Parker of Prescott; sister, Janice Shepherd of Lenox; brother, Ron Ritnour of Ulm MT; grandchildren: Christall, Spencer and Shelbie Ritnour, Stacie Chaney, Alex, Jason and Justin Brokaw, Amanda (Kyle) Brundage, Christina White and significant other Josh Englund; great-grandchildren: Ashlyn Chaney, Kinnick Host, Keegan Brundage, Olivia Brundage, Addison Fannon, and Elizabeth Englund.
Russell was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Delilah Ritnour; brother-in-law, Dale Shepherd and sister-in-law, Kathy Jenkins.