Esther Rittenbach, 94, Jamestown, died Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, with her family by her side, at Ave Maria Village in Jamestown.
Esther Edith Hills was born Aug. 23, 1918, on a farm in Egg Creek Township, Granville, to Ernest and Minnie (Miller) Hills. Esther grew up on the farm and attended grade school at Egg Creek Township #2. She later attended and graduated from Granville High School in 1937. After graduation, Esther briefly enrolled at the Minot Business College where she attended classes from February to May of that year.
Esther married Hilbert Rittenbach on Oct. 8, 1939, at the pastor's home in Butte. Hilbert and Esther lived on a farm near Granville until purchasing a large farm in 1966 near Cleveland. They continued to live there until they moved to an apartment in Jamestown in 1993. After Hilbert's death in 2004, Esther was able to move to a new apartment in Garden Hills, which she greatly enjoyed. Esther moved into the Ave Maria Village in October 2007 where she resided until her death.
Esther was a longtime member and devoted attendee of the Cleveland Seventh-day Adventist Church. Esther was a member of the Community Service and taught Sabbath School for many years. She became a member of the Jamestown Seventh-day Adventist Church after Hilbert and she moved to Jamestown. She truly loved the Lord and had a strong faith. Esther loved gardening. Her flower beds on the farm were a riot of color and she loved working in them. She also had a large vegetable garden, putting up numerous quarts of vegetables so that nothing would go to waste. Esther enjoyed talking on the phone and writing letters to numerous relatives and friends. Hilbert and Esther liked to travel and would drive all over to see family. She was always willing to lend a helping hand whether it was to a neighbor or a stranger. Esther will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Esther is survived by: four sons, Rudy (Patti) Rittenbach, Pendleton, Ore., Warren (Donna) Rittenbach, Lodi, Calif., Donovan (Shelley) Rittenbach, Dublin, Calif., and Jerry (Teree) Rittenbach, Jamestown; one daughter, Kathleen (Victor) Trautman, Petersburg, Alaska; 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; four brothers, Clifford Hills, Lyle Hills, Floyd Hills and Glen Hills; and one sister, Mildred Wrolstad.
Funeral service: Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 10:30 a.m. at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jamestown, with Pastor Darren Purdy officiating.
Burial: Sunset Memorial Gardens, Jamestown.
Prayer service: Today, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m., at the Eddy Funeral Chapel, Jamestown.
Visitation: Today, Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Eddy Funeral Home, Jamestown.
Online guestbook: (www.eddyfuneralhome.com).