Cover photo for Thomas W. Ritter Sr.'s Obituary
Thomas W. Ritter Sr. Profile Photo

Thomas W. Ritter Sr.

April 13, 1940 — February 27, 2024

Harrison, Ohio and Bradenton, Florida

Thomas W. Ritter Sr.

Thomas W. Ritter Sr, 83, of Bradenton, FL, passed away peacefully February 27, 2024, after a long life of gregarious shenanigans and determined optimism. Tom was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he learned to play the trumpet (maybe from Dizzy Gillespie), swam the length of Mississippi River naked (maybe at the Fryer’s Club in Clifton) and watched out for his 2 younger sisters and his little brother. He played trumpet for Roger Bacon High School, went on to play in a big band, and attended the University of Cincinnati.

He learned to sell anything.  After all, the most importance difference between somethings bad and somethings good is often ‘salesmanship.’ He graduated from the school of hard knocks, rewrote the golden rule and became a successful entrepreneur. He became the innovator in color coating O-rings. He started his company, Coating Systems during one of the worst economies in his lifetime and he would be sure to mention under the second worst president—Jimmy Carter. - Let’s go Brandon.

He moved his company to Harrison, Ohio, where the organization continued to grow, with his son John’s help, it flourished. He was proud of the team at CSI as it became an important part of the Harrison community.

He loved his family. After his father passed away, he stepped into the family leadership role the best a young man could. He was a father figure to his brother. He walked his youngest sister down the aisle. He reunited his sister Eileen with the love of her life. Tom made sure his mother had what she needed. When his mother was at Little Sister of the Poor Senior Facility, he made sure the bar was fully stocked during her final years.

When he started his own family, Tom made sure his children understood the importance of an education, appreciated classical music, learned to water ski, learned how to be brave and to be fearless. He expected them to be able to talk to anybody and to tell a good story. They exceeded expectations.

He and Carolyn met and married in 2000. Carolyn was the world to him and his partner in new adventures. They created colorful stories of their life in the Keys and their exploits with the volunteer Coast Guard Auxiliary.

They traveled to Italy, Ireland, the United States. They moved and moved again. 

Tom always came back with a few Key truths…

1.       It is important to have an icemaker on your dock—you will always be invited fishing

2.       It is important to have a bar on your dock—you will always be invited fishing

3.       If it flies, if it floats or something else—it’s cheaper to rent a friend to go fishing (or something like that)

Tom worked hard and played hard. He threw the best parties. He made sure you PAY ATTENTION. And he laughed. I think he would like you to remember him laughing.

He is predeceased by his father, William John Ritter (1967); mother, Marian Ritter (2001); 1st wife, Marilyn Ritter (1989); sister, Kathleene Ritter Guncheon (2015); and granddaughter:  Adele Ritter (2010). He is survived by his wife, Carolyn (Kibler) Ritter; favorite daughter, Bink E. Zengel (Karl L Zengel II); son, Thomas W. Ritter Jr. (Martha Patton); son, John Thomas Ritter (Amy Westrich-top world women marathoners 1 of 6); bonus son, Jason Reed (Dawn Leineu), and grandchildren, Monique Jacobs (Peter Jacobs), Kira Ritter, Simone Ritter, Bailey Ritter, Kolbe Ritter, Ian Ritter, Luke Ritter, Geoffry Reed (Becca), Ashton Reed, and Ian Reed. Favorite great grandchild, Jude Jacobs. Brother, William Joseph Ritter (Karen Kippi Ritter), and sister, Eileen Hulseman.

Family and friends are invited to a memorial visitation from 12 Noon until time of Memorial Service at 12:30 PM Saturday April 13th, 2024 at the First Baptist Church of Harrison 
119 S Hill St., Harrison, OH 45030.  A reception will follow at the Coffee Peddlar 112 Harrison Ave., Harrison, OH 45030.


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Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, April 13, 2024

12:00 - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

First Baptist Church of Harrison

119 S Hill St., Harrison, OH 45030

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 13, 2024

12:30 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Baptist Church of Harrison

119 S Hill St., Harrison, OH 45030

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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