Born Dec. 3, 1947 in Versallies, Mo. to Ora Jackson Ritchie Sr. and Ruth Maxine (Stafford) Ritchie. Buff came to the Barton County area at the age of two growing up in Pawnee Rock. After graduating from Pawnee Rock High School he met and married a local Larned girl. Their union produced a son, William Davis Ritchie Jr. After a few years they divorced and he met and married Glenna Mae (Galliart) Ritchie.
Buff stayed around the Barton County area until 1979 when he moved his family to the east coast and began his construction career in earnest. Buff started as a superintendent with B&H Construction and traveled from Virginia down to Florida and all the states in between. In 1985 after the closure of B&H while in Wilimington, N.C. they decided to plant roots there. Eventually he became the general superintendant for McKinley Building Corp. Always one to be hands on he was known to show up for a final punch list and hang doors or fixtures. Buff always took pride in his work and there are many businesses and schools that have his personal touch in Wilmington.
Eventually Buff retired and moved back to the Great Bend area. While construction was his career focus, music was his constant hobby. Buff never met a guitar or George Jones song he didn’t like. He was also known to salt water fish from a pier, the shore, and out on a boat in deeper waters.
He leaves behind his son William D. Ritchie Jr. (Danielle), Fla. and two daughters Amanda Mae (Amy Lou Ritchie, Great Bend and Jennifer Ruth (Runt Best (Blaney) of Albert; three grandchildren, Kayla Mae Baxley, Natally Ruth Croom and Blaney Davis Best (Bubba); three great-grandchildren, Leightinn (Lilly) Mae, Adalinn Ora Marie and Sadie Ruth. He also leaves behind his ex-wife but constant companion and caretaker until his death, Glenna Mae; brothers James, Stan Dennis and Virgil Ritchie; and three sisters, Christine Paige, Sondra Seeley and Jeanne Vratil; two sisters-in-law Donna Ritchie and Bonnie Ritchie. He was proceeded in death by his parents; brothers Ora Jackson Jr. (Deed), Harold Newton (Hoot) and Gary Don (Gopher); and sisters in-law Theresa Ritchie, Louanne Ritchie, Phylis Ritchie and Wilma Ritchie; two brothers-in-law Lee Seeley and Clinton Vratil; numerous nieces, nephews.
A celebration of life is planned for March 4, 2023 at the American Legion in Great Bend at 5 p.m. Memorials and cards can be sent c/o Glenna Ritchie, 3222 18th Street, Great Bend, Ks. 67530.
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, March 1, 2023