Ministry of Bereavement: Interview with Ronald Ritter

Today, we had the privilege to interview Ron Ritter about a very basic tool that will assist people of faith to minister intelligently and effectively to those who grieve.

The turning point for Ritter was when the shackles of clinical depression were removed five years after his son Steve’s death when he could focus his full energies into the ministry of bereavement.

Here is the full interview:

Ron Ritter was born the 7 September 1938. Born and Raised in Baltimore, MD. B.S. Business Administration, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. B.Th. Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, IL 1970. Ordained, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, 30 August 1970. United States Marine Corps Reserve, 1960-1965. United States Navy Chaplain, 1974-1970, retiring at the Grade of Commander. Married to Judith Anne Orendorff, 7 January 1967. Four children; John (45), Steven (1970-1987), Timothy (42), Elizabeth (34). Residence, Fallbrook, CA. Presently serving a Lutheran Church in Hemet, CA.

First significant death (sudden), my 26-year old brother, Donald (my hero) in 1950 when I was 11 years old. Life Altering Death (sudden), my second son, Steven (age 16), in 1987 from an automobile accident. Steve’s death caused me to focus my pastoral work into the ministry of bereavement.

I love the scripture in Psalm 34:18. “God is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Gloria Horsley

More Articles Written by Gloria

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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