It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of the matriarch of our family, Linda L. (Mease) Rittle, 83, who passed away at home on Dec. 17, 2021.
She was born to Aaron and Marguerite (Kreider) Mease in Lebanon.
Linda dedicated her life to healing others through her work as a registered nurse. She graduated from Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in 1959. She began her career as a missionary nurse in Espanola, NM. Upon returning to PA, she helped establish the very first intensive care unit at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon.
In 1962, Linda married the love of her life, James B. Rittle, of Lebanon. She put her career on hold to raise their children, David and Sue Ann. She returned to nursing work at Lebanon Internal Medicine (LIMA) and retired from LIMA in 1998.
Linda also dedicated her life to serving God and others through her faith and was a leader in her church, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Lebanon. She was a wonderful educator in spreading God’s word. Linda taught in the mother’s class when her children were young and went on to teach in the Catechetical program. She and her husband, Jim, served as leaders for the youth groups at Trinity. She was a member and leader in the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church for more than 60 years.
Music played a major role in Linda’s life. As a young woman, she sang in school and church choirs. She was even part of a live radio show as a featured singer. In her service as a member of the choir at Holy Trinity Lutheran, she praised the Lord through song and solos in countless cantatas, weddings, and music programs. Her family has fond memories of gathering around the piano at Christmas to have her play and lead the singing of carols.
Being a wife, mother, and nana gave Linda deep joy. Her grandchildren, Zachary and Lauren Rittle, remember playing grocery store, including all the props, baking countless confections in the Easy-Bake Oven, camping, and playing in the castle.
Anyone who knew Linda knows that Jim had a great affinity for Lionel Trains and The Circus. She was Jim’s circus traveling companion, as they made dozens of trips across the county to display Jim’s miniature three-ring circus. Jim’s fellow circus fans became another family that was blessed to have Linda as part of the fellowship and fun.
Linda was a woman of tremendous faith, who loved life and serving God and others. But most importantly, she loved her family.
Linda is survived by her husband of 59 years, Jim; as well as her two children, David Rittle and Sue Ann (Rittle) Houser; grandchildren, Zachary and Lauren Rittle, and Joshua Houser; great-granddaughter, Kinsey Petrozziello; sister-in-law, Norma J. (Rittle) Arnold, and husband, Mark R. Arnold, III; several nieces and nephew; and several great-nieces and -nephews.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 723 Lehman St., Lebanon, PA 17042. Visitation with the family is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., with a memorial service beginning at 11 a.m. Masks are required while in the church building. The service can also be viewed remotely at the following link.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to her church, address above.