Ritter Recognized for 30 Years of Service


Wednesday afternoon, Bellefontaine Mayor Ben Stahler recognized Joann L. Ritter for her 30 years of service to the Bellefontaine Shade Tree Commission.

Mayor Stahler gave a proclamation at a ceremony in Bellefontaine Council Chambers.



“Whereas, Joanne Lois Ritter was born in 1937, the daughter of Joseph and Lois Hlavin in Cleveland, Ohio, and

Whereas, she graduated from Westlake High School in 1955 and Ohio Wesleyan University in 1959 and

Whereas, Joanne, while on a European tour with the Ohio Wesleyan women’s Glee club, came across a handsome soldier in the midway of the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958 and

Whereas, she would later marry that soldier, Jerome (Jerry) Ritter in August of 1959 and spent the next 61 years together, and

Whereas, Joanne with her degree in Art, only taught school for a brief period, choosing to stay home and raise their three wonderful children and

Whereas, the Ritters were known to host lavish dinner events, larger-than-life Memorial Day block parties, and over-the-top OSU tailgate gatherings and

Whereas, Bellefontaine has been recognized as Tree City, USA since 1981 and

Whereas, Joanne has been an active part of the Bellefontaine shade tree commission for over 30 years, now. Therefore, I Ben Stahler, Mayor of Bellefontaine, Ohio, do hereby proclaim that today, November 15th be a day we recognize, celebrate, and offer our thanks to Joanne Ritter who graciously shares her artistic time and talents to continue to join with friends to make Bellefontaine a beautiful place to live, work and play.” -Ben Stahler, Mayor, City of Bellefontaine, Ohio.


Joanne and her crew work tirelessly, uncounted hours to make the City of Bellefontaine beautiful, including being a part of the “Christmas Elves” group who help decorate the downtown area for the holidays.