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Shelter Island Reporter obituaries



Peter J. Ritzler, who always preferred to be called Pete, Dad or Grandpa, died November 17, 2017 at Sebastian River Medical Center in Sebastian, Florida. He was 72.

Pete was born in Clarendon, Texas on July 23, 1945 to August and Loyce Ritzler. The family moved to Brooklyn and then to Bellrose. Pete graduated in 1964 from Baldwin High School where he lettered in track and field.

Peter ‘Pete’ J. Ritzler
Peter ‘Pete’ J. Ritzler

He entered the Navy shortly after graduation, and was very proud of his service as an aviation electrician, his family recalled. A long-time member of the Shelter Island community, where he was a general contractor and master carpenter, Pete loved to cook, fish, craft furniture out of wood, and carve wooden art such as fish.

Pete had lived for a long time in Sebastian and at the time of his death, was planning a move to join his daughter and grandchildren in the Atlanta area.

Pete, who was preceded in death by his mother, father and sister, Loyce “Sue” C. Raber,  is survived by his sons Thomas (Christina) and Daniel (fiancée Jennifer Dantuono), and daughters Debra (Jason) Owen, and Christina (Brandon) Gabbard; four grandchildren; his brother, Waylon Daniel Ryan; brother-in-law, Donald R. Raber; his ex-wife and mother of his children, Jane Ritzler; an extended family and many friends, including Deborah Kyle Seddio.

A funeral service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO BOX 758516 Topeka, KS 66675 or woundedwarriorproject.org.

James Aloyisius Roe IV
James Aloyisius Roe IV

James Aloyisius Roe IV died after a lengthy illness on November 27, 2017. He was 62.

James was born on April 9, 1955 in New York City to James A. Roe Jr. and Marie Oliver Roe and grew up in Flushing. His paternal grandparents, James Roe Sr. and Margaret Farrell Roe, owned Westmoreland Farm, where James spent all his summers. His maternal grandparents were Juliette Casavant Oliver of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec and Fred Nash Oliver of McGregor, Texas.

James attended St. Andrew Avellino parochial school in Flushing. James and his brother, Nash, survived a plane crash in 1968 (which took his father’s life) and he finished his elementary education at Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine. He was not expected to walk again, but after a full year at Rusk he went on to play tennis, golf and family softball in spite of his physical disabilities.

James graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School, in Rockville, Maryland and then Williams College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and classics. He rounded off his education with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of California at Berkeley. He held several positions doing research and teaching before joining the faculty of Loyola Marymount University’s department of chemistry and biochemistry.

Before his retirement last June, he had served as chair of the department and a member of the faculty senate. A self-described “rabid” science fiction fan, he taught a course for nonscience majors that explored “the science in science fiction that does and does not add up.”

An enthusiastic proponent of electric cars, James owned several including the EV1, a Ford Ranger EV and finally a Tesla.

His family recalled that to the end James enjoyed life, sharing good food and wine and great conversation with people  — he savored his family and friends and was admired for his courage, perseverance, intelligence and unique sense of humor. He was, they said, a true inspiration to all who knew him.

James is survived by his wife, Catherine Osborne Roe; his step-sons, Shea, Thor and Christian Becker; his sister, Marcelle Langendal (Anders); his brother, Nash Roe (Jeannette); his aunts and uncles, Frances Kestler, Colette Roe and John Roe; his nephews, neice and many cousins.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased his sister, Julie Roe.

Celebrations of his life and masses will be held on December 12, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Chapel at Loyola-Marymount University, Los Angeles, California and on January 13, 2018 at 10:30 am at Our Lady of the Isle Church.

Anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory can do so at the Island Gift of Life Foundation at islandgiftoflife.org, the Alzheimers Research Foundation at alzheimersresearchfoundation.com or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at michaeljfox.org.