Ken Leonard Ritchie, Jr., 48, of Columbia, SC passed away on Saturday, November 21, 2020 after battling Diabetes and Kidney Disease for many years. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in September of 1972 and was the only child of Kenneth L. Ritchie, Sr. and Cathleen Ann Brecht.
In 1990 Ken graduated from Richland Northeast High School. He was a member of the school’s Choral group and ROTC program. He spent many years working in hotel management, catering, Verizon Wireless, and Colonial Life Insurance before becoming disabled by his kidney disease.
Even on his hardest, darkest days, Ken wore a smile on his face. He loved life and wanted to bring a smile to the people who loved him. He was known for his thousands of useless facts. As a history buff, he had a thirst for knowledge. But, even on serious topics, his witty and sarcastic sense of humor would always shine through. He was a huge Gamecock and Panthers fan, and had a love for cars, Star Wars, Star Trek, the Avengers movies, and any action packed movie.
Ken leaves behind his parents; his wife and love of his life, Melissa Thomas Ritchie; his son, Dawson Anderson Ritchie; and his three step-daughters, Brittany, Kelsey, and Murphey. He also leaves behind his best friend Ernest Krasselt and his wife, Denice. Ernest was Ken’s “brother from another mother like no other,” and although Denice had her hands full with the two of them, she loved Ken like a brother as well.
To say he will be missed by his family and friends is an understatement. There are holes in their hearts that will never be filled. However, they know that the memories he made will stay with them forever.
His dad will remember taking him to watch the first Star Wars movie and what a great debating politician Ken could be. His mom will always cherish the late night talks, the friendship between the two of them that blossomed as her son grew up, his great big bear hugs, and his beautiful eyes. Dawson fondly remembers trips to Disney World and the shooting range, and bonding with his dad over their shared love of superhero movies.
Last but not least, Melissa will always remember the way her best friend, her “pitter patter,” looked at her. It was the same way her daddy looked at her mom. His smile and laughter is what brought her to life. She will always treasure the years they had together, the spontaneous hugs, kisses, and dances they shared. He will always be remembered as the hopeless romantic that projected love out into the world in hopes that it would be returned to him.
Barr-Price Funeral Home and Crematorium, Lexington Chapel, is assisting the family. A private Celebration of Life will be held in early 2021. Christmas was Ken’s favorite time of year, and his family would like to honor that by having his friends and family celebrate with him this Christmas.
If you would like to make a difference in someone’s life, memorial donations may be made to The National Kidney Foundation.
You will always be the love of my life, and will always hold a special place in my heart.
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