Obituary: DAVID WESLEY RITCHEY
December 31, 1961 – December 3, 2021
David Wesley Ritchey went home to be with the Lord on December 3, 2021. He was born on December 31, 1961 to Clinton and Elaine Ritchey in Greeley, Colorado. He grew up in the Hudson and Fort Lupton areas, where he enjoyed riding his bike to the pool, helping with the farming and ranching activities, and spending time with his older brother, Joel, younger sisters, Brenda and Kim, and cousins. It was during this time that he also discovered his love for rodeo, and he soon found himself riding on the back of anything that would stand still long enough.
David graduated from Weld Central High School in 1980. During his time there, he excelled in wrestling and FFA. He got his love of working with cattle from his dad and spent his life in the agriculture industry. Rodeo remained an integral part of his life; he gained his pro card in bareback riding and later went on to judge. He was awarded Mountain States Circuit Rookie of the Year in the mid 80s and CSRA Judge of the Year in 1989. This passion was shared by his brother, cousins, and several of his friends. They spent many hours on the road together throughout high school and beyond as they travelled to rodeos around the region.
In 1990, Kim introduced David to one of her coworkers, Stacie Ruyle, at the Greeley Stampede. This introduction was the beginning of a true love story, and David and Stacie were married in Wiggins 6 months later on January 11, 1991. They made their first home near Clinton’s house in Hudson, where they welcomed their daughter, Morgen, in September 1993 and son, Corey, in January 1996. Later that year, they moved south of Wiggins, where they worked together on the farm and ranch. David became an active member of the community, serving on the Wiggins School Board for 8 years and on the Southeast Weld and Morgan County fair boards. He also enjoyed line judging the home volleyball games and refereed wrestling tournaments around the Northeastern portion of the state. He was honored to be chosen to ref at the 2011 CHSAA State Championship wrestling tournament.
David’s greatest joy was watching his children grow and find their niche in life. He loved helping them in their various activities, including their years of showing livestock in 4-H and participating in sports. This extended to his nieces, nephews, and children of his friends as well. David was thrilled to gain the title of “Papa” with the birth of his first grandchild, Penelope Rose, to Morgen and her husband, Bryson Grennan, in May 2021.
David was an active member of Harvest Fellowship Church in Brighton for almost 30 years. He formed a close relationship with his pastor, Steve Blackwell, and his wife Debbie and their family during this time. His faith grew throughout his life and remained strong until his passing. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched, but we find great joy in knowing that he is in Heaven and we will see him again.
David was preceded in death by his dad, Clinton, in 2002, and mom, Elaine, in 2019. Left to mourn him are his wife Stacie, children Morgen (Bryson) Grennan, and Corey, granddaughter Penelope, brother Joel (Angie), sisters Brenda (Ed) Haffner and Kim (Dave) Wolf, his beloved dogs Sophie and Charlotte, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends.
A memorial service honoring David will be held on Monday, December 13, 2021 at 10 AM in the Wiggins High School Event Center, with a graveside service to follow at the Hoyt Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Wiggins School. Those unable to attend in person will be able to watch via livestream on David’s Facebook page. Memorial donations can be sent to Harvest Fellowship Church, 11401 E. 160th Ave., Brighton, CO 80602.
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