William C. Ritz, 78, of Greensburg, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, at home. He was born Feb. 16, 1937, in McKeesport, a son of the late Vitus Aloysius Ritz and Alva F. Franklin Ritz Maurer. He was a retired electrical engineer for Westinghouse Energy in Monroeville. Bill had six patents while working at Westinghouse. He was a model train enthusiast and a member of the Train Collectors Association. He had a love of classical music, played the violin and loved European classic art. Bill traveled with his sons to the Arctic and Antarctic. He once took a helicopter ride and landed on a glacier. Bill and his wife flew on the Concord from London to New York City, and also steamed on the QE2 to Europe. Bill met and spoke with Buzz Aldrin and Alan Shepard of the Apollo space missions. Bill attended St. Vincent College and Carnegie Mellon University. His graduate degree in electrical engineering is from NC State. During Bill's retirement he took up oil painting and portraiture. He loved to read, he owned thousands of books. He owned and collected three antique cars, a '41 Hudson, a '51 Kaiser and a '57 Thunderbird. Bill loved to spend time at his cabin in Somerset County with his family and friends. He had the privilege of riding a Big Six steam engine up Sandpatch grade in 1955. At his elementary school, Bill was voted "Ideal Boy". He was so smart that he got to skip fourth grade. A neighbor once said "your dad can fix anything". If Bill gave you a hard time, that meant he liked you. He once said that his wife of 54 years was the finest person he ever met. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant sister, Mary Kathleen Ritz. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 54 years, Margaret E. Poellot Ritz; four children, David Ritz and wife, Amy, of Pittsburgh, Maria Bartifay and husband, Glenn, of Murrysville, Christine Robinson and husband, Steven, of Carlisle, and Allen Ritz and Jennifer Howard, of Latrobe; 10 grandchildren, Lucas Ritz, Alivia, Aaron and Kyle Bartifay, Bethany, Emma, Lynnea and Grace Robinson and Ethan and Mia Howard; a brother, David A. Ritz and wife, Patricia, of Rocky Hill, Conn.; a sister, Nancy Hudson and husband, John, of Pleasanton, Calif.; and several nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Relatives and friends are invited to celebrate the life of William from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in the CLEMENT L. PANTALONE FUNERAL HOME INC., 409 W. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg, PA 15601, 724-837-0020. Parting prayers will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home, followed by a funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10 a.m. in the St. Vincent Basilica. Entombment will follow in Mary, Mother of Mercy Mausoleum at St. Vincent.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Westmoreland Cultural Trust, 102 N. Main St., Greensburg, PA 15601. William's family has entrusted his care to the Pantalone Funeral Home Inc., Greensburg. To share your memories and photos, offer your condolences or for directions, please visit us at www.pantalone.com. Natale N. Pantalone, supervisor.