Montana Celebrates Ritterskamp’s Retirement

February 13, 2020 | Church | Hugo Mendez, Renae Young

Don Ritterskamp, a lifelong minister of the gospel, was shown appreciation for his 40.2 years of service during two recent retirement celebrations: a local church gathering in Missoula and another during a pastoral gathering at the Montana Conference office.

With temperatures below freezing and snow and ice on the ground outside, more than 75 friends from the Missoula and Superior churches gathered Sabbath evening, Jan. 4, 2020, in the warm gymnasium of Mountain View Elementary in Missoula to bid a fond farewell to Don and Patti Ritterskamp, who have ministered in the district for the past seven years.

A festive Hawaiian luau theme was punctuated with vibrant color decorations and a delicious tropical meal as the congregants expressed “aloha” (goodbye) and “mahalo” (thank you) to the Ritterskamps for their years of faithful service. They were presented with farewell cards, a money tree, and other gifts and words of appreciation.

Don Ritterskamp faithfully opened every sermon with a prayer and recitation of Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”  

The Ritterskamps were honored by colleagues during the annual Pastoral Meetings held at the Montana Conference office in Bozeman. Though weather conditions nearly threatened travel plans for the honored couple, they arrived to find a room full of people happy to wish them well during their transition to a less scheduled stage of life.

Elden Ramirez, Montana Conference president, had the privilege of presenting Don with a certificate of appreciation for his service time. Matthew Kirk, Montana Conference vice president for administration, presented a certificate on a lighter note — with the title “License to Chill.”

Knowing Don, he will follow the adage “once a pastor, always a pastor,” even in his retirement. His life has been and will continue to be one of ministry and helping those around him. While post-retirement plans are not finalized, the Ritterskamps will always continue to share the gospel. 

Thank you, Don, for even though your official title is now “Elder,” you will remain “Pastor” to those who around you.

“Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).