Merle E. Rittgers, 86, of Lincoln, Iowa passed away on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at Oakview Nursing Home in Conrad, Iowa. A visitation for Merle will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 20, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church in Reinbeck, Iowa. A funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday at the church. Burial will follow at the Maple Hill Cemetery near Gladbrook. French-Hand Funeral Home in Reinbeck is caring for Merle and his family.
Merle Edwin Rittgers, son of Lawrence and Esther (Ballhagen) Rittgers was born on December 27, 1931 in New Hartford, Iowa. He received his education in New Hartford, graduating from New Hartford High School in 1951. On February 26, 1955, Merle married Rose Ella Fink at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. The couple resided in Lincoln, Iowa. Merle worked for over 13 years as a truck driver for Contract Steel and then worked 28 years at Ritchie Industries as a CNC operator until retiring in 1999. Merle loved to spend time with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, was an avid Iowa Hawkeye’s fan and also enjoyed playing softball, fishing, wood working and loved mowing lawns. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Reinbeck.
Survivors include his children Carla (Ken) Smith of Gladbrook, Laine (Kristy) Rittgers of Liscomb, Caryn (Paul) Strohbehn of Reinbeck, Marla (Bill Smock) Hout of Indianola, and Judy (Bryan) Brown of Marshalltown; grandchildren Angela Morgan, Jennifer Moulton, Jill Smith, Ross and Michaela Rittgers, Nicholas, Wesley and Ryan Strohbehn, Alicia Hout, Ashley Schneider and Josh Brown; great grandchildren Michael, Brooke, Hunter, Tyler, Alexa, Madalynn, Macey, Taylor, Ethan, Kohen, Danita, Jovon, Ricki, Nathan, Paige, Lauren, Addison, Emerson, Colton and Makenzie; one great-great grandson Braxton; brothers Ralph (Arlene) Rittgers, Donald (Frances) Rittgers, sisters Gladys Elliot, Charlotte, Elizabeth, and Ardith Rittgers.
In addition to his parents, Merle was also preceded in death by his wife Rose Ella; daughter Lori Hout and brother, Eugene Rittgers.
Memorials may be directed to the Rittgers family.