Wendell Wright “Web” Ritchie, age 75, of Springfield Massachusetts, passed into eternal life on Monday September 7th 2020. Wendell was the son of Merrill and Irene Ritchie, and husband of the former Lois Ann MacDonald. Wendell and Lois were a couple for 59 years and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 4th 2018.
Wendell was educated in the Springfield school system graduating from Technical High School in 1962. After graduation he joined the U.S. Navy and was trained as an Air Traffic Controller serving duty stations on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands and North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado, California. After discharge in 1966 Wendell completed training as a Computer Programmer at the Electronic Computer Programming Institute in West Hartford Connecticut. He was employed for the next 45 years as a programmer at Hartford Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, Casual Corner, Stanley Home Products, and retired in 2010 after 34 years from Baystate Medical center in Springfield, Massachusetts
Wendell enjoyed Lawn Bowling, and was a member of the Meadows Lodge of Masons where he was a Past Master. He was also a 32nd Degree Member of the Scottish Rite and former Shriner. He was a Convener in Clan Mackintosh of North America attending Scottish Games in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. He was a member on several church boards and committees at Wachogue Congregational Church in Springfield, First Church of Longmeadow (UCC), and Longmeadow Congregational Church (Free), and the Fellowship of Northeast Congregational Christian Churches.
Wendell spent 18 years as a professional Santa Claus, and had worked at Eastfield Mall, Holyoke Mall, and Bright Nights in Forest Park. He also made several private and corporate Christmas functions, Baystate Children’s Hospital, and nursing homes. In the true spirit of Santa, all of the earnings from his Santa visits were donated to the Springfield Rescue Mission.
Wendell was predeceased by his wife Lois in 2018 and his brother David K Ritchie of Ludlow, MA. in July. He is survived by his son Paul J. and his wife Michelle of Ludlow, daughter Sharon C. of Springfield, sister-in-law Rosemary MacDonald of Fort Collins, CO., and many nieces and nephews in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 4th from 1-3pm at Forastiere Smith Funeral & Cremation located at 220 North Main St. East Longmeadow, MA. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, 505 Eighth Avenue Suite 902, New York, NY 10018 or the Springfield Rescue Mission, 10 Mill Street, PO Box 9045, Springfield, MA 0102-9045