Laura Ann Ritter Graham, 94, of Buchanan

Published 7:50 am Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Feb. 16, 1919 — Dec. 8, 2013

Laura Ann Ritter Graham, age 94, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Sunday, December 8, 2013 at First Health Hospice Care in Pinehurst, NC.

Laura was born on February 16, 1919 in Buchanan Michigan, the daughter of Jeremiah Henry Hinz Kline and Clara (Vitacek) Kline. She received her education at the rural one room Mead School and Buchanan High School.

She married Harry W. Ritter on March 9, 1935 in the First Methodist Church. They raised two daughters; Patricia Mary and Sharon Clair and two sons; Harry Edward and Jeremiah Lawrence in Buchanan. After her husband’s early retirement and her retirement from 21 years at Electro Voice, their time was spent as “snowbirds” with 6 months in Florida and 6 months in Michigan until the death of Harry in 1977. Laura continued to reside in both Florida and Michigan and in 1985 met and married Philip H. Graham. He died in 2006. After many years of traveling between Florida and Michigan Laura settled near her son and family at Quail Haven Retirement Village in Pinehurst NC.

Most treasured were Laura’s family and many friends, she will be missed by all for her easy smile, positive outlook, and ever-present mirth and laughter. Her hobbies and interests were numerous. She loved taking family photos, reading, daily journaling, staying physically active, flower gardening, baking and music. For each of her daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters Laura painted and dressed beautiful porcelain dolls. As a lifelong member of the Buchanan First United Methodist Church and churches in Florida, Laura delighted in singing in the church choir and enjoyed entertaining at senior centers and nursing homes. Laura and her siblings were quick to delight the entire family with favorite childhood Bohemian songs and hymns.

With the death of her father in 1956 and her mother Clara in 1989, at the age of 89, she became the matriarch of the large close-knit and loving Kline Family.

She is survived by her four children; Patricia Mary Morris of Madison WI, Sharon Clair Walter of Niles, MI, Harry Edward Ritter of Niles MI and Jeremiah Lawrence (Ruth Ann) Ritter of Pinehurst, NC; grandchildren Jeffery Wade Morris of Mount Prospect ILL., Marilee Morris (Kevin) Gorman of Madison, Wisc., Stephanie Cae (Raymond) Masterson of St. Augustine, Fla., Stanton Christopher Walter of Mishawaka, Ind., Steven Cory (Nancee) Walter of Niles, Mich., Kim Michelle (William).

Anderson of South Bend IN, Todd Lee (Carol) Ritter of Buchanan, Mich., Gregory Alan (Sarah) Ritter of Hamlet, NC, Kelly Ann Altman of Pinehurst, NC and Kerry Jane Morse of Pinehurst, NC; nineteen great-grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.

She is also survived by sisters; Virginia (Paul) Asmus of Niles MI, Elizabeth (Donald) Cornwell of Buchanan MI and brothers; Jeremiah (Pauline) Kline of Holiday Estates FL, Frederick (Roxie) Kline, Edward (Karen) Kline both of Buchanan MI, sister-in-laws; Betty Kline and Marsha Kline of Niles MI and many much loved nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, grandson Sean Michael Ritter, great grandson Alexander Ritter Altman, and siblings; Wanita Clara Kline, Lawrence Jacob Kline and Vernon Dale Kline.

Her family and friends will forever remember Laura, whose lives she touched with care, compassion and a sharing of the joys of the long journey. Cherished Mother and Nana may you rest in peace until we meet again.

A service celebrating her life will be held at Swem Chapel, 301 W. Front Street, Buchanan MI on Saturday, December 14, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at 10:00a.m. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery.

To sign her guest book please visit our web site www.swemchapel. Com

Memorial donations in Laura’s name may be made to the First United Methodist Church 132 S Oak St. Buchanan, MI. 49107 or Sand hill Children’s Center, 1280 Central Drive, Southern Pines, NC, 28387 will be welcomed.