Allen Dorsett Ritter
September 27, 1934 – May 26, 2021
Allen Dorsett Ritter, one of the kindest men you’d ever meet, has joined his beloved wife of 45 years, Kathleen, in heaven and they are dancing together again! Their children, Dale Ritter, (Pretzelmae), Hollister, Cheryl Wenzlik, (Rich) Hollister, only grandchild, Mikayla, and Glenn Ritter, (Dario), Spokane WA, all miss them both very much and are so grateful for their amazing love that has continued through the generations.
After being diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Sept, 2018 which went into remission, an aggressive Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma presented in May 2021 and overtook his body within weeks. With a final meal of Eggs Benedict and a Coors light, he was ready to go home to heaven on May 26th, 2021.
Allen’s life began in Lancaster, CA, September 27th, 1934, son to Albert Ritter from Palmdale and Augusta Dorsett Ritter; originally from Indiana. Allen appreciated his older sister Joy Ann mothering him and when he was older, his younger sister Elaine introducing him to all of her friends! He worked hard on the 11,000-acre family ranch which his father and four uncles dry farmed hay, grain, raised cattle and grew almond trees.
In the 1-room school house in Leona Valley that was mostly filled with Ritter cousins, Allen had to call his mother “Mrs Ritter”! A favorite past time was hunting, and he attended Antelope Valley High School, where he played the saxophone. He graduated UC Davis in Ag Education and was in Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
Allen started flying when he was 14 and, knowing that he would be drafted, joined the Navy. In Aug 1957 he was selected for flight training as an Aviation Officer Candidate for Naval Flight School, Pensacola FL.
Allen and Kathy knew each other growing up because their mothers were sorority sisters, but “the spark” happened Jan 1958. They had two dates before Allen was off to Pensacola. His mother and Kathy went to FL for his commission, and Allen proposed to Kathy while they were dancing. On a five day leave from the Navy they were married in Beverly Hills on August 30, 1958 and Allen took Kathy dove hunting at the family ranch for their 3 day honeymoon!
They lived in Pensacola for over a year, then Allen was stationed in San Diego, so they moved to Imperial Beach where Dale was born. Allen was off on a 7-month cruise in the far east when Cheryl was born a year later, and Allen finally met his 4-month old daughter May 1961. They enjoyed eight months of family time before Allen was off on another 7-month cruise Jan 1962.
Allen left the Navy in Feb 1963 and continued with Navy Reserves. They moved to Culver City, Glenn was born and Allen began flying 28-passenger helicopters commercially for LA Airways, then moved to Westchester. LA Airways was involved in two helicopter accidents, so Allen began working with Kathy’s dad and brother at Heyler’s Automotive/Phillips 66 gas station in Rancho Park.
Allen’s passion for farming took the family to Hollister in 1972 where he worked on the Herbert Brothers Ranch. Next he started working with Castle Seed Company as a field representative and did some flying, then with PCA, Ag banking. In his spare time, he farmed speciality squash and Kiwanos. Then in 1988 he became the Hollister Airport Manager for 15+ years.
Giving back to the community was a huge part of Allen and Kathy’s lives. They were involved with Inglewood First Presbyterian Church, YMCA Indian Guides in LA, Hollister First Presbyterian Church ( in which they held many positions throughout the years), 4H, were charter members of both the Lions and Lioness Clubs, started the Hollister Farmers Market, enjoyed Marriage Encounter, Red Cross, and more! They loved being together, with family and friends, traveling and dancing with each other.
After Kathy’s passing in 2003, Allen enjoyed a special relationship with Kathie Merwin, a friend from UC Davis.
This world was blessed to have such a kind hearted man for 87 years.
Celebration of Life, Saturday Sept 4th,10;30am, Christ Fellowship Church, 2066 San Benito St, light lunch following.
Also Saturday 3:30pm-5:30pm, 4:00pm Honor Guard at Hollister Airport, Aris Helicopter Hanger, 234 Skylane Drive. Please bring an appetizer to share.
Continuing Allen’s legacy with donations to the Hollister Lions Club, Allen and Kathy Ritter Scholarship 831 902-8185 or Christ Fellowship Church 831 637-4350 would be welcomed.
Cheryl Ritter Wenzlik 831 801-0873 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale Ritter 831 821-0504 email@example.com
Glenn Ritter 831 801-3948 firstname.lastname@example.org