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Mary's Story

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Mary Louise O'Neil Ritter, 85, passed away in Decatur, GA on December 21, 2017. The daughter of Arthur O'Neil and Eleanor Lamb, she graduated from Newton High school with dreams of being an actress. She briefly lived in New York City, then returned to Boston and met William Ritter, Harvard University graduate, who later received his Ph.D. from MIT in mathematics.
They were married in 1957. Lovers of the outdoors and travel, after living in Boston and Newton, MA, they traveled and camped throughout the United States and Canada with their growing family. They also lived and worked in Hanover, NH, Seattle, WA, Stockton, CA, and finally settled in Terre Haute, IN, in 1971, where Bill became the chair of the mathematics department at Rose Hulman.
Mary Lou received her Master's degree in psychology from Indiana State University and began her career in social counseling. Despite a long term illness of her husband, she remained a devoted and supportive wife, and they moved to Indianapolis in 1987, where Mary Lou became superintendent of the Indianapolis Women's Work Release Center. After she retired, she continued contract work with ACA Prison Accreditation. She also worked as an election official, and a Catholic Charities volunteer. She took several post retirement trips to Europe, including touring France by bicycle in her 70's.
In 2012 she moved to Decatur, GA. She is survived by her children, John (Jeanine) of Wichita, KS, Stefan (Muffy Blue) of Decatur, GA, Mary Beth Walter (Kenneth) of Hartford, CT and Sara (Karen Moore) of Terre Haute, IN, brother William O'Neil of Midlothian, VA. 8 grandchildren (Julie, Brian, Elisabeth, Allison, Annessa, Zachary, Lexi, and Ellie), and 3 great-grandchildren (Logan, Talitha, and Lydia).
Floral tributes should be sent to A.S. Turner and Sons Funeral Home, 2773 N. Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30033.
Published on December 23, 2017
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