Mother remembered for selfless generosity
Cheryl Ritenour was the kind of mother who worked two jobs to support her family, volunteered in her community and put out bountiful spreads for holiday dinners.
“She made really good homemade rolls. She liked to crochet. She was busy,” said her daughter, Denise Catone.
When Catone experienced a difficult time as a teenager, her mother put her paralegal career plans on hold to spend time with her daughter.
“Not all moms do that. I can only strive to be the mother she was,” Catone said.
Cheryl D. Ritenour of Derry Township died Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in her home. She was 57.
Her mother suffered a series of strokes several years ago that left her disabled, her daughter said.
Ms. Ritenour resided with her daughter and her family in their Export home for more than a year and enjoyed playing board games with her grandchildren.
They recently moved together to Derry Township on property Ms. Ritenour’s family owned.
“She said, ‘I’ve come full circle. I’m home,’ ” Catone said.
Brenda Slusser of Derry Township was friends with Ms. Ritenour for 35 years.
“She was like a sister to me. She and her girls were there for me when my twins had colic. I would call her at 3 a.m., and she would come over. I didn’t think I could get through it without her. She just made you feel like family,” she said.
Slusser said Ms. Ritenour called her son-in-law, Eric Catone, “her hero.”
“She always said that Eric promised to get her back home, and he followed through. I think she was at peace,” Slusser said.
Ms. Ritenour was involved with Thrivent through her church, St. James Lutheran Church in Youngstown, and volunteered with Eastern Derry Township Volunteer Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary.
Ms. Ritenour worked at Torrance State Hospital in the dietary department and had previously worked at the Sheetz convenience store in New Alexandria.
Ms. Ritenour was preceded in death by her parents, C. Homer “Grizz” and Carole G. Hartshorn Miller.
In addition to her daughter Denise, she is survived by daughter Danielle (Pete) Dreistadt; two brothers, Charles F. Miller (Judy Lynch) and Clifford W. Miller; a sister, Crystal L. (Gregg) Lazar; five grandchildren; and nieces, nephews and cousins.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday in McCabe Funeral Home, 300 W. Third Ave., Derry, where a service will be conducted at 7:30 p.m.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or [email protected].