Joan F. Ritzman (Limburg), 76, passed away Sunday, September 2nd, 2018 after a long illness.
Joan was born in Akron, Ohio to Floyd and Betty Limburg. Joan had a kind heart, and a soft spot for animals from very early on. It is difficult to find a childhood photo of Joan that doesn’t include her gently holding a favorite pet.
A graduate of Springfield High School and Kent State University, Joan had fond memories of carpooling daily to KSU with her group of friends, several of whom she remained close to throughout her life. In 1964, Joan married her high school sweetheart, Wayland, who was at her side throughout 54 years of marriage. During their years living in Akron, Joan worked as a medical technologist and an office manager. Wayland’s job with Goodyear meant several moves out of state, and during those times, Joan avidly volunteered and made new friends in Quebec, Alabama, and North Carolina.
Joan gifted her loving kindness towards animals to her two daughters. Her family still laughs at the challenging puzzle of moving back from Alabama to Ohio with two vehicles, four humans, a horse, dog, cat, birds, hermit crabs, gerbils, and turtles.
Joan and Wayland traveled extensively around the world, and eventually returned multiple times to a favorite place - New Zealand, where they led Habitat for Humanity Global Village Care-A-Vanner work trips. Joan spent many volunteer hours helping her local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, and served in so many ways at her church, including as an elder.
Friends knew they could count on Joan whenever needed, whether for car rides, house painting, warm meals, or good conversation. Joan enjoyed camping, sewing, gardening, and the long and rewarding process of renovating their Victorian farmhouse.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her loving husband, Wayland; their two daughters, Tracey Ritzman (Anjan) Chakrabarty and Jill (David) Pildner; her two grandchildren; brother, John (Candy) Limburg; sister, Sandra (Troy) Loper; brother, Scott (Cynthia) Limburg; and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.
Joan is missed by her church family, longtime friends, neighbors, Uniontown Rainmakers’ camping friends, and her two cats at home, Inky and Sweet Pea.
Joan’s family would like to thank the caring staff of GentleBrook HomeStead and Great Lakes Caring Hospice for their kindness and support this summer.
A celebration of Joan’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 29th at Suffield United Church of Christ, 1115 St Rt 43, Mogadore, OH 44260. Friends may begin visiting an hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Suffield United Church of Christ.
“Say not in grief that she is no more
but say in thankfulness that she was.
Death is not extinguishing the light;
It is only putting out the lamp because dawn has come.” (R. Tagore)
(Hopkins Lawver, Uniontown, 330-733-6271)