Shirley Rittenhouse


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URBANA — Shirley Bash Rittenhouse, 90, of Urbana passed away Friday (May 17, 2019) at Clark Lindsey Village, Urbana.

Shirley was born Nov. 23, 1928, in Champaign, to Elmer and Alice Lee Bash. She graduated from Champaign High School and then the University of Illinois in 1950, where she received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and was elected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

After graduation, Shirley moved to Detroit to work for Parke Davis. Her two daughters were born there. Shirley moved back to Champaign in 1959. There she began her lengthy career with the University of Illinois. Her first position was as a research assistant in the Department of Biochemistry, where she assisted with cancer research. She then moved to administration, serving as a staff associate in the Office of the President. Shirley retired after a lengthy tenure in that position.

Shirley married the love of her life, Warren Rittenhouse, in 1975. Warren and Shirley lived a wonderful life of nearly 45 years together. Shirley was always a hard and dedicated worker, but her true smiles and joy came when spending time with Warren. They enjoyed family times, spending time with friends and travel.

Throughout her life, Shirley was active in the Champaign-Urbana community. She was involved with AAUW, Kappa Alpha Theta Alumnae Club, the JP Chapter of PEO, University Place Christian Church, Presbyterian Church of Champaign, and served as an active volunteer at the Carle Clinic.

Shirley was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Warren, and a precious granddaughter, Katie Webb, and is survived by her five daughters from their blended family: Jane (Joe) Rittenhouse Marriott, Janice (Chuck) Pfaller Woodward, Linda (Dale) Rittenhouse Stephens, Barbara (Jimmy) Pfaller Esposito and Jeri (Gary) Rittenhouse Cochran. Also surviving are six grandchildren, Mike (Anna) Webb, Levi Marriott, John (Stacy) Marriott, Jess Woodward (Preston) Quick, Aron Cochran and Peter (Leslie) Woodward. Also surviving are 11 wonderful great-grandchildren, Bella, William, Jasper, Elaina, Arlo, Penny, Eian, Simone, Winnie, Teddy and Jack; and Shirley’s sister and brother-in-law, Wanda and Don Whitsitt.

Visitation will be held Saturday, May 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m. at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West, Savoy. A private burial will follow the service in Mount Olive Cemetery.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may kindly be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 207 S. Prospect Ave., Suite 1, Bloomington, IL 61704.

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