John Patrick Rittinger

July 16, 1944 - May 18, 2021

John Patrick Rittinger, 76, a resident of Fort Myers Beach, FL, formerly of Vestal, NY and Ardmore, PA, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at Fort Myers Beach. He was born July 16, 1944 in Poughkeepsie, NY to the late John and Katherine Rittinger.

He was a proud graduate of St. Bonaventure University where he met the love of his life, Patty. He graduated in the top of his class at Notre Dame Law School in 1969 and was Case Comment Editor for the Notre Dame Law Review (The Notre Dame Lawyer).  Following law school he served in Vietnam as a Captain in the United States Army (Airborne) in Cà Mau Province with CORDS and MACV.  He was proud to be a vet and to have served his country. 

Following his discharge from active duty, he was a trial lawyer (don’t say attorney) for 35 years with Chernin & Gold and Levine Gouldin & Thompson in Binghamton, NY.  He was known for his hard work and dedication to his clients, as well his mentoring and friendship to many lawyers that worked with him. As good as he was at being a lawyer, in 2006 he decided to retire to focus more on what he truly cared about – his family.  He spent those years doing laundry for Patty, teaching his grandkids how to ride a bike and giving them advice (often unsolicited and almost universally right), golfing and spending time at Ft. Myers Beach with Patty and his friends that were smart enough to also go south for the winter.  In 2015, Patty and John moved to Ardmore PA to spend more time with their children and grandchildren when not in Florida. He could often be seen running at either location in the morning no matter the weather.

John was passionate about golf, St. Bonnies’ basketball, sitting on the beach with a cooler, camping in Lake George, back rubs (getting, not giving), hating the New York Yankees and reading. If he loaned you a book you would often find notes in the margins or hand written notes of his personal commentary (sometimes with expletives).  But nothing was more important to him than his wife of nearly 55 years, Patty, and his family, children, grandkids and granddogs.  If John Rittinger loved you, you knew it. 

In addition to his parents, John is predeceased by his three beloved black Labradors.  He is survived by his loving and tolerant wife, Patricia; children, Barbara Rigo (Stephen) of Ardmore, PA, and Michael Rittinger (Karen) of Ardmore, PA; siblings, James Rittinger (Kathy) of Scarborough, NY, and Mary Burke (Bill) of Pleasant Valley, NY; grandchildren, Alexander, Keira and Grace Rigo, and Reagan, Shannon, Bridget and Finn Rittinger; as well as many in-laws, cousins, nephews, nieces and dear friends.

A wake will be held at Stretch Funeral Home, Havertown, PA from 6 pm to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25, 2021  A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Denis Church, Havertown, PA on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 11 a.m. with internment immediately following.

Memorial Contributions in memory of John Rittinger are suggested to St. Bonaventure University, University Advancement, P.O. Box 2519, St. Bonaventure, NY 14778 or online to

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Maureen and Mark Colburn May 20, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Mike. Love and Peace.

  2. Brendan T May 21, 2021 at 6:59 am

    My condolences to the entire Rittinger family. May God watch over you during this challenging time and give you the strength to celebrate all the great things you shared with John over the years.

  3. Joan D'Angelo May 21, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Mike and family – may the wonderful memories you have of him live in your hearts forever. Your entire family are in my prayers.

  4. James Starshak May 21, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    John was a great classmate at Notre Dame Law School. He was fun to be around and always ready to help his classmates.

    Jim Starshak
    NDLS “69
    Class Secretary

  5. Merle Wilberding May 21, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with Patty and the entire Rittinger family. I had the honor and privilege of being a law school classmate with John and being on the Notre Dame Law Review with John, and, for good measure, being a fellow Army veteran with John. John was so bright, so focused and yet so warm and humble. And our hearts forever, love thee Notre Dame. Merle Wilberding

  6. Jim Brady May 21, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    John was a classmate at ND Law School. John and Patty lived in ND married housing where Cathy and I lived. We forged a wonderful friendship during law school. John was an outstanding student but most important a good friend. Patty was a good partner. When she was serious she would call him”Jonathan” don’t know why but none of us dared to call him Jonathan. May he Rest In Peace. Jim Brady

  7. John Reyen May 21, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Patty & family,

    I’m heartbroken in learning of John’s passing. What a beautiful person and a joy to be around. You are all in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. May precious memories comfort you in the days ahead.

  8. joe kennedy May 22, 2021 at 11:58 am

    I consider myself one of John’s buddies at ND Law. He was a great guy, one of our very best. I still remember our third year when John’s younger brother was in first year. Despite his size, we called him “Little Ritt.” Too many of us are passing on. At least, there is some consolation in that John’s death was quite sudden. All the best to Patty, who is also fondly remembered by the class of ’69, and to all John’s family.

  9. Lynda DeLuca May 22, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    John was also so tolerant of the Rosebuds who invaded his serene Ft Myers home every winter. God speed John.

  10. Tom Corgel May 22, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    The world has lost a special person way to early. John was a unique person who shared his knowledge and his wit for so many to enjoy. A game of golf was a true treat for those who joined him for 18. He will be missed by all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him. He was a true friend . RIP JR

  11. Maureen Miner May 23, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Patty: Sending condolences to you and your family. I couldn’t let the loving and tolerant wife be neglected. May you and your family found solace in the many stories of you needing to be the tolerant wife. He was always a joy to be around and I’m happy that you had good retirement years to share. Maureen Boyd Miner

  12. Tom McAvoy May 24, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    John was one of the best in our profession. His word was respected and he had a great sense of humor, I was supprised to learn that he had connections to Ardmore Pa where I lived while at Villanova and also Ft. Myers Beach which is close to our place on Sanibel Is. Our sympathy to his family, it will be hard to go on without him.

  13. Fred Kuhnen May 25, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Patty and Family,
    I was shocked and saddened to hear of John’s passing. I knew John casually during the 80s and 90s from our various basketball leagues, but I really got to know him over the last 2 years as we were golf partners twice a week while in Florida.
    I looked forward to those 2 days a week as John would make me laugh with every comment he made; what a great sense of humor! That was only part of John, he was smart, humble, and caring. He will be greatly missed.
    My condolences to all his family and friends.

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