George Lawrence Ritchey
BIRTH 10 May 1950
Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, USA
DEATH 22 Feb 2010 (aged 59)
Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Loma Vista Memorial Park
Fullerton, Orange County, California, USA
George Lawrence Ritchey was a twin, one of four children of Randolph Ritchey (1908 - 1976), and Ruth Elizabeth (Button) Ritchey (1916 - 2001).
George was born in Long Beach, California, and raised in a Mid-Century Modern style home in Fullerton designed by his father, who was an architect. He attended Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, and the University of Southern California (USC), where he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and a discus thrower on the track and field team.
He also enjoyed playing trombone, swimming, and weight lifting. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Mathematics from USC in 1977. Following his education, George resided in the San Fernando Valley and Eagle Rock districts of Los Angeles, and, during the last decades of his life, lived at a condominium he owned on Del Mar Blvd in Pasadena. For several years, George drove a classic maroon Fiat 124 Sport Spider convertible.
George grew up with the music of Percy Grainger and other turn-of-the-century legends played from piano rolls on his family's Aeolian Duo-Art Baby Grand player piano. With this foundation, he became a classical music and opera buff who was a fan of Catalan soprano Montserrat Caballé. He enjoyed attending concerts and recitals in the Los Angeles area, and traveled with his friends across the country to hear complete opera performances of Wagner's "Ring Cycle" masterpiece.
George was employed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the federally funded scientific research and development center for NASA in La Cañada Flintridge (Pasadena), California, leading up to and during the Neptune flyby portion of the Voyager 2 mission to the outer planets. In 2008, he became Data Warehouse Database Administrator for Discus Dental, where he was employed to 2010.
George was active in the gay community and participated in the National March on Washington in October 1979. Seventeen years later, in October 1996, he worked with thousands of volunteers on the National AIDS Memorial/NAMES Project to cover the National Mall in Washington D.C. with an unforgettable display of more than 48,000 quilt panels handmade by friends and family members of victims of the disease. George created a 3 ft x 6 ft quilt (panel #3910, now preserved by NAMES) to honor his twin brother. John died in March 1990 from complications of HIV/AIDS, which was a big emotional loss for him.
He is buried next to his brother John at Loma Vista Memorial Park in Fullerton. George is greatly missed.