RITCH, DR. THOMAS ALDEN- Dr. Thomas Alden Ritch passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, September 1, 2018 at the age of 92. Alden had a smile that could light up a room. The man behind that smile was a husband, father, grandfather, WWII veteran, doctor, world traveler, polio survivor, and animal lover that will be forever missed by his family and friends.
Alden was born on February 17, 1926 in Dallas, TX. His family lived in Amarillo, TX until settling in Clovis, NM in 1932. He was one of the few remaining polio victims still alive. He contracted polio twice in his lifetime and with years of determination and lots of hard work and physical therapy he was able to overcome most of the lingering effects.
Alden graduated from high school in Clovis in 1943. After briefly enrolling in Texas Tech University he joined the United States Navy. He served in the US Navy submarine service until the end of WWII. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he attended the University of Texas and was awarded his medical degree in 1953. He was trained in the Specialty of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiology at the University of Colorado Hospitals Denver and the M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute Houston. Alden was certified by the American Board of Radiology in 1962.
Along with some of his colleagues Alden opened Roswell Radiology on West Alameda in Roswell and was a partner there until his retirement. He also participated as a traveling doctor and worked as a radiologist at L’Hospital Ste Ciox Leogane Haiti, Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother Hospital Vieux Fort St. Lucia, and as a consultant to the Minister of Health of Grenada. Alden and Louise shared a love for travel and enjoyed many exciting adventures together.
Upon retirement, Alden and Louise made their home in Ruidoso, NM, but he continued to serve as the consultant radiologist of the Mescalero USPH Service Hospital until 2005.
Alden is survived by his wife of 45 years Clara Louise Ritch of Roswell, NM; his sister-in-law Pat Ritch; his brother-in-law Arthur Clark; brother-in-law Martin Barnett (wife Joyce); brother-in-law Gary Barnett (wife Barbara); sister-in-law Mildred Chewning (husband Charlie); his children Thomas Ritch Jr. (wife Brenda) of Gilbert, AZ; Michael D. Ritch (wife Linda) of Marietta, GA; Scott Ritch (wife Mary) of Burleson, TX; Randall Ritch (wife Karen) of Pflugerville, TX; Cynthia Miller (husband Ronald) of Roswell, NM; Sandra Koonce (husband Neal) of Canyon Lake, TX; Susan Douvry (husband Peter) of Cypress, TX. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Ryan Miller (Skylar Crossley); Randy Miller (wife Jacque); Stephen Douvry; Christopher Douvry; Joel Ritch (wife Lauren); Shane Ritch, Jeremy Ritch, Mathew Ritch, Amelia Ritch, Elijah Ritch, and great-grandchildren Harrison Ritch, Colton, Nadia, Cameron, Olivia, and Geirdan Miller who affectionately referred to him as Dino. He is preceded in death by his parents Hugh and Myrtle Ritch, his sister Charlotte Clark of Hereford, TX, and his brother Dr. Hugh Lee Ritch of Clovis.
Alden had a large place in his heart for his beloved dogs. He was preceded in death by their Golden Retrievers, Luther and Judo. He is survived by their Havaschons Carlos and Jacques who were with him throughout his illness.
There will be a private memorial service and inurnment at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Alden’s memory to a charity of your choice.
The family would like to thank June, Reyna, Viola and Claudia for their loving care, and Kindred Hospice for their care and dedication.
Louise--I pray God comforts you at this difficult time. It isn't easy. June, who also cared for a while for my husband Lloyd, often expressed her fondness for you both. Know many have been thinking of you during this time.
JerryNelle Ward StoneRoswell, NM
Alden was one of the first to greet me and welcome me to Roswell Radiology. He took me under his wing and tutored me in the ways of small town medicine. I know he always had my back and supported my efforts to bring new ideas and skills to the practice. I became a better radiologist and a better person because of Alden. Iam forever grateful. I know that Sailing was one of his passions and he often encouraged me to not wait till your too old to enjoy it. Alden I didn’t wait too long.
Sail away in peace old friend.
Phillip DurandShawnee, KS
My love of sports cars and things mechanical came from Dr Ritch. For that I will always be thankful. I feel lucky that I was able to let him know the positive impact he had on my life before his passing.
Thor (David) StangebyeMpls, MN