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Robert “Bob” D. Rittenhouse

Robert “Bob” D. Rittenhouse ’38, 87, passed away on Monday, January 14, 2008. He was the husband of the late Myrtle Blythe and the father of David. 

TAHLEQUAH – Robert DeVere “Bob” Rittenhouse was born Sept. 20, 1920, in DuBois, Pa., to Irwin DeVere and Ruth Polm Rittenhouse, the second of four children, passed from this life Jan. 14, 2008, after a brief illness.

In 1929, at the death of his father and due to severe economic times, Bob and his older brother were placed in the Hershey Orphanage in Hershey, Pa., where they remained until their graduation from school.

Soon thereafter, Bob joined the U.S. Navy, where he served during World War II in the Pacific Theatre as an aviation sheetmetalsmith in CASU-20 on the Kwajalein Islands, Roi Nemur Atoll.

After WWII, Bob met and soon married Myrtle Lee Blythe in the Oakland, Calif., area. In May of 1949, Bob and Myrtle were privileged to adopt their only son, David Craig Rittenhouse. Soon they moved to Bartlesville, and later to Borger, Texas, where they raised their son and where Bob found work with Phillips Petroleum Co.

Having joined Local 351 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Bob soon became plant steward. In 1960, Bob resigned from Phillips Petroleum to become business manager for Local 352, where he served 25 years until his retirement in 1985.

In 1987, Bob organized a naval reunion organization of the participants of the WWII Roi-Namur, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands Battle on Feb. 8, 1942. Twenty consecutive annual reunion events have transpired bringing together several hundred service members, wives and family members.

In 1991, Bob moved to Park Hill to be near his son and to begin a new chapter of his life where he met many new friends through his association with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, several-square dance clubs and through Park Hill Baptist Church, where he was a member.

Bob leaves behind his son, David Rittenhouse, and wife, Joyce; grandchildren, Krista Baker and husband, Bret, Leslie Booth and husband, Mike, and David Craig Rittenhouse II; six great-grandchildren, Morgan Booth, twins Colton and Madison Booth, Hallee Baker and twins Kobey and Aubrey Baker; and many relatives and friends.

Services for Robert DeVere Rittenhouse will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 17, at Green Country Funeral Home with Rev. John Lee officiating. Interment will follow at Fort Gibson National Cemetery.

Green Country Funeral Home, 203 S. Commercial Road, 458-5055.

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