Rodney Ray Ritthaler

Ritthaler Enlargephoto


Funeral services for long time resident of Cortez, Rodney Ray Ritthaler, will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 12 at Ertel Memorial Chapel with Pastor Anthony Maes officiating. Interment will follow at Cortez Cemetery.

Visitation has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday at Ertel Chapel.

Rodney passed away on May 6, 2014 at the age of 76. He was born in Perry, Okla., on October 2, 1937.

Growing up, his family moved between Oklahoma and Idaho; wherever the farm work could be found. The family eventually settled down in the Caldwell/Nampa area. After high school graduation Rodney eventually made his way to the Cortez area in approximately 1956. To make a living and provide for his family he was a truck driver for most of his life. He drove in the area for companies such as Northcott, CB Johnson, Pat Burns, Bridgewater, and Reed Hurst. In the early 1970s Rodney made his way to Alaska during the oil boom and pipeline construction. There he found work driving trucks as well, hauling equipment from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay. Eventually he found himself on the North Slope of Alaska, above the Artic Circle, working for CATCO and driving a cross-country version of a truck called a Rolligone. Ever the one not to sit and be idle, Rodney bought 80 acres south of Cortez in the early 1980s and started growing alfalfa hay and raising cattle. Eventually retirement settled in and there was no more truck driving, the cattle had all been sold, as well as much of the land. Rodney enjoyed visiting old friends, family, and grandchildren. And those he could find to play cribbage with him was a bonus!

Surviving Rodney are his children, Cynthia Robb and husband, John of Midland, Tex., Raymond Ritthaler of Sherman, Tex., and Rodney Ritthaler and wife, Jamie of Dolores; nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren; and siblings, Leo Ritthaler and wife, Mary of Idaho and Lenna Brocke and husband, Ken of Idaho. Preceding him in death are his wife, Evalena Ritthaler; parents, Jacob and Annabell Ritthaler; and sister, Phyllis Ackerman.

Services are under the direction of Ertel Funeral Home. To send condolences, log on to and click on the obituary section.