March 21, 1935 ~ February 14, 2020

Born in: Cincinnati, OH
Resided in: Parker, CO

Bette Jean Ritchie, wife of Lt Colonel Howard Ritchie, passed away peacefully on February 14 2020. Bette, from Littleton, was born March 21 1935, daughter of Kelly Cash and Sadie Watkins, and grew up on Mount Adams in Cincinnati, Ohio. She had a fun and adventurous childhood that she shared with her four siblings. Bette married her childhood friend Howard and her life changed forever as she took on the role of military wife. Together they lived all over the United States and in Germany. Joining them on their journeys were their five children:  Robert, David, Gena, Mike, and Lori. The family eventually settled in the 1970s on Ken Caryl Ranch outside of Denver, where Bette and Howard  lived until Howard’s passing in 2014. Bette was a devoted mom. She loved travelling especially with her sister Sonnie, best friend Grace Inlo-Potraafke and her daughter Lori. The four enjoyed their trips to Monterey California each year as well as other places around the US. Bette also loved shopping, reading, photography, gambling, visiting family in Ohio and Kentucky and in recent years, spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Bette leaves behind sisters June Kling (Howard) of Cincinnati Ohio, Sondra Vach of Cincinnati Ohio, brothers Richard Watkins (Norma) of Glendale Arizona, Robert Watkins (Myra) of San Francisco California, children Robert Ritchie (Phyllis) of Littleton Colorado, Gena Fischer (Lee) of Steamboat Springs Colorado, Mike Ritchie (Ronette) of Littleton Colorado, and Lori Bricks (Michael) of Parker Colorado as well as grandchildren Kailey Gillane (Eric) of Ventura California, Kassidy Fischer of Bozeman Montana, Bryce Ritchie of Littleton Colorado, Jenae Ritchie of Littleton Colorado, Dylan Peppelaar of Littleton Colorado, and great granddaughters Wiley Gillane and Evie Gillane of Ventura California as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews who adored her. She was preceded in death by her husband Lt. Colonel Howard Ritchie, son David Ritchie and her parents.

The service will be at Fort Logan Cemetery, at 9:00am on February 21st. We will be gathering at Staging Area “A” at 8:30am sharp. A “Celebration of Life” party will be held at Lori and Michael Bricks’ home in Parker, Colorado the evening following the service. Please contact a family member for more information.

If you are sending flowers please arrange for them to be delivered to Horan and McConaty, 3101 S. Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood Colorado 80227. Flowers need to be there no later than Thursday, February 20th. In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to the American Cancer Society in honor of Bette Ritchie.


Graveside Service: February 21, 2020 9:00 am - 9:30 am

Fort Logan National Cemetery
3698 South Sheridan Boulevard
Denver, CO 80236

(303) 761-0117

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Memories Timeline


  1. Aunt Bette lit up a room with her smile and laughter. I remember her sharing stories of she and my dad when they were young. And she knew more about the Watkins family history than anyone else in the family. I loved corresponding with her from across the miles via Facebook. A life well lived, and she will be long remembered. I know she loved her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren fiercely. Rest in peace Aunt B.

  2. Dear Ritchie Family,
    Please accept our condolences for the loss of Bette. She was a wonderful woman. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
    With heartfelt sympathy and love,
    David & Anne Fein

  3. Aunt Betty you were an amazing person you will be missed very much love you
    ” May the road rise up to meet you May the wind always be at your back and the sun shine warm upon your until we meet again may the Lord hold you in the palm of his hand”

  4. I was lucky that my mom, Sonie, was Aunt Bette’s sister and because they always had a very close relationship, Aunt Bette was always in my life and very important to me up to the end, and I value that relationship I had with her. We loved to be silly and laugh together. She was always a bundle of fun and so loving, caring and thoughtful. She always made me feel so special. I think she made everybody feel special! We got to hang out twice a year for many years, in the spring and again in the fall with her visits to Cincinnati. My husband, children and brothers also had special relationships with her too because she loved family so much and wanted to spend as much time as she could with all of us in Cincinnati. This past December we had such a great hour long conversation on the phone for the last time. We chatted about everything and I sang a couple of the old songs that her and my mom made up in their teen years that they taught me long ago and she was chuckling. I will always value that last long conversation with her and being able to tell her how much I love her! Robbie, Gena, Mike and Lori, we are so sorry for your great loss! She is a great loss for so many! Dear, sweet Aunt Bette, my beloved aunt and friend, I’ll remember you with a smile until we meet again!

  5. Betty was like a ray of Sunshine when she entered a room. Her Smile and Personality was contagious and she loved and lived life to the fullest. She never saw a Stranger and made Friends everywhere she went. We Loved Betty and I was Blessed to have her as my Sister in Law. Our Thoughts And Prayers are with the Family.

  6. Robbie, Gena, Mike, Lori and family, we are with you in the grief over the loss of your Mother. Her sense of humor and caring nature was very special to all that knew Betty. May God comfort you all during the coming months as you celebrate Betty’s life and how well she lived it. Love you all

  7. Bette, I’ll always remember you as one of the four muskateers. You, Lori, Grace and I traveled many miles together over the years, singing, joking and having lots of fun with our four kooky cats on the dashboard! And Lori driving with her left foot on the dashboard as well! Ha Ha! As sisters we were constant companions, always playing together as children, double dating as teens, best friends always. I was so blessed to have you as my sister and a best pal all of our lives. I will miss you but I know that I will see you again. And to all the family, I am so sorry for your loss of such a special person. I love you all! Aunt Sonnie

  8. We traveled the country on many adventures and I will never be more thankful for that. We were the four musketeers and then 3 and now 2… I will never forget our silly laughs and eternal friendship with you, Grace and Sonnie. A walk on our flower splashed path by the ocean with my 3 best friends is my idea of heaven. This is an eternal bond. You are my mom and my most cherished best friend. I love you!


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