Sewing 11

Bonnie J. Ritner

May 2, 1939 ~ June 11, 2021 (age 82)


Bonnie Jeanne (Shreffler) Ritner, 82, of Cranberry was called home on June 11, 2021. Though she had many challenges over 40 years, she faced all of life with a strong faith, positive outlook and warm smile. 

She was born at home in Nickelville on May 2, 1939, the first child of the late Robert Edward (Bob) and Ruth Irene (Etzel) Shreffler. She met the love of her life, Robert K. (Bob) Ritner while still in high school. Graduating from Emlenton High School in 1957, they were married on August 24th. He preceded her in death on Sept 22, 1987.

A homemaker most of her life, she was also a bookkeeper and seamstress at Jeanne’s Bridal Shop for many years and later co-owner of Home-Cooked Catering. She was an excellent cook and could always whip up a cake or stretch a meal from two to twenty-two at a moment’s notice. In fact, her kids often teased her saying they all knew where to come if there was ever a disaster because she always kept enough groceries for everyone in the whole neighborhood!

Outside of faith, her greatest love, joy and purpose was ‘family’.  She was known as “Grandma” not only to her 7 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, but to the many kids over the years who came to share a banana popsicle and cool dip in the pool on hot summer days. For many years she coordinated the Shreffler Family Reunion, and she loved going to Florida in the winter to visit “the girls”, a group of close-knit cousins she grew up with and considered sisters. She was active in the community as a long-time member of Fertigs UMC where she proudly served on PPR and delegate to the UMC Conference as well as on the Board at Fertigs Community Center. She hosted several foreign exchange students including Dinara (who traveled from Kazakhstan to visit on June 5th), Olga, and Henni. These kids, and Jeka, were so very important in her life, becoming part of her extended family.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her oldest daughter, Jane (Jerry) Cochran on Jan 12, 2013, with whom she had an exceptionally close relationship, and a grandson Derek Hileman on March 22, 2018.

She is survived by three children, Susan (Bob) Hileman of Oil City, Dean (Kim) Ritner and Carol (Kevin) Donahey both of Cranberry; grandchildren Jason (Heather) Lewis of Franklin, Kyle (Taylor) Ritner of Cranberry, Michael (Hannah) Ritner of Washington, PA, Karah (Matt) Donahey of Butler, Emily (Luke) Nixon of Cranberry, Callen Cochran of Cranberry and Paige (Jeremy) Grippo of Greensburg, PA; in addition to great-grandchildren Tyler, Robbie, Dillon, Harper, Coleson, Alivia, Baylee, Landon, Weston, Rhyan, Rowan, Riley and two babies on the way.

She is also survived by her brothers Ed (Mary Ann) Shreffler of Cranberry, Tom (Judy) Shreffler of Oil City and Jim (Linda) Shreffler of Fletcher, NC, sister Margie Rimkus of Seneca; brother- and sister-in law Dave and Ginny Ritner of Kossuth, many beloved nieces and nephews, and special friends including Sandy (Ames Shreffler) Cyrus and others.

Because medical issues were such a big part of her life for so many years, the family wishes to acknowledge and thank the staff at Cleveland Clinic, the Infusion Center at UPMC Northwest, and especially the late Dr. Howard Kirtland without whose expert care she most certainly would not have been able to live such a long and happy life.

At her request, there will be no visitation.  A Celebration of Life will be held at Hile-Best Funeral Home, 2781 Rte. 257 in Seneca on Saturday, June 26th from noon until 2 p.m., followed by a memorial service immediately thereafter.

 In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Fertigs Community Center, 4887 Camp Coffman Rd., Venus PA 16364; or the Kirtland Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 108 Franklin, PA 16323.

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