Joanne Ritter, center, was honored Wednesday, Nov. 15, by the Bellefontaine Shade Tree Commissioner for her more than 30 years of service to the organization. Bellefontaine Mayor Ben Stahler, right, reads a proclamation for Ritter, noting her efforts to “generously share her artistic time and talents to continue to join with friends to make Bellefontaine a beautiful place to live, work and play.” Shade Tree Commission Chairman and Logan County Commissioner Joe Antram also offers applause.
“For a generation, every aspect of our efforts to manage and develop Bellefontaine’s tree canopy have been touched by Joanne,” Antram said. “She has been a tireless advocate for ensuring that there are healthy trees on every block of the city.”
Bellefontaine has been designated a Tree City USA since 1981. Volunteers manage an inventory of all trees on public boulevards, parks and cemeteries in the city.
A native of Cleveland, Mrs. Ritter attended Ohio Wesleyan University and met her husband, Bellefontaine native Jerome “Jerry” Ritter, at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958 when he was a soldier and she performing with the Ohio Wesleyan Women’s Glee Club. Mrs. Ritter also obtained a degree in art and taught briefly before staying home with the couple’s three children. (CITY OF BELLEFONTAINE PHOTO)