George E. “Pork Chop” Rittle, 85, of South West Street, Shenandoah, passed away peacefully with his daughter, Maria, at his side Saturday morning at Shenandoah Manor Nursing Center. He was a beloved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Born in Shenandoah, March 25, 1934, he was a son of the late George and Elsie (Kowalchick) Rittle.
He was a 1952 graduate of the former J.W. Cooper High School, Shenandoah.
Mr. Rittle was a decorated Air Force veteran, having served his country proudly during the Korean War. During a four-year enlistment, he was a nuclear weapons mechanic specialist attached to the 35th Fighter Bomber Squadron while serving in Korea and Japan. He received the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
George was a skilled and gifted carpenter, having worked in many homes in Shenandoah and surrounding areas. He was a proud member for 56 years of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, beginning with Local 709 of Shenandoah until his current membership in Local 431 of Lebanon. He served as the steward on construction in the building of many high-rises, prisons and power plants. He was a delegate to the Keystone District Council for over 30 years. Throughout his life, George also worked for various contractors and lumberyards, including the former Kal’s Lumber Co., O’Hearn Lumber Co., Kutskiel & Souchuck Lumber Co. and Swantek Lumber Co., all of Shenandoah. In his retirement, he served as the maintenance man for the former St. Stanislaus Church, Shenandoah.
On August 10, 1958, in the former St. Stanislaus Church, Shenandoah, he married the former Josephine Marie Karlesky, his “bride” who survives.
He was also a member of Divine Mercy Parish, Shenandoah, and a very active member of the former St. Stanislaus Church, where he was a member of the Holy Name Society. For many years, George was instrumental in the success of the annual bazaar by constructing all of the food and game stands, as he called it, “his way into Heaven.” George was also a member of Shenandoah Archery Club.
To say family was of most importance to him is an understatement. George’s family meant everything to him and he took great delight in time they spent together. George was extremely proud of his children’s and grandchildren’s many accomplishments in life. Many memories were made on family vacations in Canada and on hunting and fishing trips with his sons and later with their families. Anytime the family was together was a special time, but holidays were particularly meaningful. His grandchildren who lovingly referred to him as “Dziadzi” brought a smile to his face and joy to his heart. Seeing and holding his great-grandson, Mason James, for the first time was a moment he never forgot. Everyone who knew George Rittle has more than a story to tell; he was a man with a great sense of humor and a quick comeback. In his retirement, George enjoyed his daily trips to Redner’s Market to shop and talk with his many friends.
Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, was his beloved daughter-in-law, Suzanne E. “Suzie” Rittle, on February 18, 2014.
Surviving, in addition to his wife of almost 61 years, Josephine Marie Rittle, are his daughter, Maria E. Rittle at home; two sons, George J. Rittle and his wife, Lynda, of Ringtown, and Joseph J. Rittle, of Pottsville; five grandchildren, Stephen Rittle and his wife, Erin, Hannah, Rebecca Lynn, John and Claudia Rittle; one great-grandson, Mason James Rittle; one brother, Edward Rittle and his wife, Ruthann, of Whitehall; one sister, Rosemarie Rittle and her husband, James Fronheiser, of Barto; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law, nieces; nephews and their families and many friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Casimir’s Church, 229 N. Jardin St., Shenandoah, the sacred worship site of Divine Mercy Parish with Monsignor Ronald C. Bocian, pastor, as the celebrant and Monsignor William F. Glosser concelebrating. Interment with military honors will follow in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. A viewing will be held from 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday and from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah.
Expressions of sympathy can be made to Divine Mercy Parish Memorial Fund or the Father Walter J. Ciszek Chapel Memorial Fund, both c/o 108 W. Cherry St., Shenandoah, PA 17976.
Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah is in charge of the arrangements.