Olive Travis Ritchie, age 97, of Richmond, VA, passed away on July 28, 2017, at Candlelight Senior Manor in Highland Springs. She is survived by her children Diane Neylan (Vince) and C. James Ritchie, III (Lisa), grandsons Nicholas and Owen Ritchie and sister Eleanor Rae Gayhart. She was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years Chester J. Ritchie, her parents Bobbie and Marie Travis and her sister Virginia Barnett.
Olive graduated from John Marshall High School and Smithdeal-Massey Business College. She went to work for Richmond Public Schools after her son started school, working at Oak Grove Annex, Oak Grove Elementary School, the central administration office and Henderson Middle School. In 1974, Olive and several others set up a certificate program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College for educational office personnel. Two years later, she graduated summa cum laude. She convinced Richmond Public Schools to recognize personnel who held a Professional Standards Certificate with a pay increment—believing that professional development was crucial to improved performance and should be acknowledged. Olive retired from Richmond Public Schools in 1985 after 27 of service.
For over 50 years, Olive was actively involved in the National Association of Educational Office Professionals (NAEOP). She served as chair of numerous committees and as president of the Richmond (RAEOP), Virginia (VAEOP) and National associations. Her awards and accomplishments are numerous. Olive started the NAEOP Educational Secretary and Administrator of the Year Awards program and presented the first awards in 1973. She was named “Educational Secretary of the Year” by the RAEOP in 1979, “Educational Secretary of the Year” by the VAEOP in 1980 and “Educational Secretary of the Year” by the NAEOP in 1981. The national award given to the educational secretary of the year was later renamed “The Olive T. Ritchie Educational Office Professional of the Year” Award. This award continues to be given each year to an outstanding secretary on the national level.
Olive loved playing the piano, playing for awards banquets until her health declined. She continued playing for the staff at Candlelight Senior Manor until shortly before her death from the effects of Alzheimer’s/dementia. “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichael was her favorite song. The family would like to thank the staff of Candlelight (and its predecessor) for the patient and caring treatment extended to Olive during her last years.
A graveside service will be held at 3:00 pm on Thursday, August 10th at Maury Cemetery in the veterans section under the large United States flag (2700 Maury Street, Richmond 23224). In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation in Olive’s memory to the National Alzheimer’s Association (http://www.alz.org/donate_overview.asp) or a charity of your choice.
Thursday August 10th, 2017
2700 Maury Street
Richmond, VA 23224
Photos Add Photos
Celebrating the life of Olive Travis Ritchie
Thank you for signing Olive Travis Ritchie's Guestbook
May God be with you and your family during this difficult time.
Submitted by Brandon Armstead on Aug 10 2017 08:23:27 PM
My husband and I met Olive when he was her letter carrier for her and her mother, Mrs. Travis, we became friends. We would stop by her house at Christmas and she would play the piano for us. I started working with Olive at Henderson Middle School in 1973. After my husband retired we continued to keep in touch, sharing Christmas and birthday cards. Olive was a very special person, we were very fond of her, We kept in touch with Olive through several of the caregivers at the Candlelight Senior Manor. Our prayers are with the family at this time of bereavement. She will be missed.
George and Juanita Armistead
Submitted by George and Juanita Armistead on Aug 9 2017 08:20:00 PM
Olive will always be remembered as someone with a BIG heart and very passionate about the local, state, and national affiliations and its members. Olive was nicknamed as "Our Mother Virginia," who was extremely dedicated, and Olive had this incredible commitment to help to make ALL professional associations the BEST that they could be!!! Rest in Peace, our Dear Sister Olive, and though you are gone, you will NEVER be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to Olive's family at this sad and difficult time.
With deepest sympathy,
Patti Giancola, President
Submitted by Patti Giancola on Aug 9 2017 02:21:03 PM
Patti Giancola lit a candle for Olive Travis Ritchie
Patti Giancola lit a candle on Aug 9 2017 02:05:15 PM
At Henderson Middle u were wonderful. U helped the school run. U were a dear. Sorry I lost touch but u left a lasting impression. Best to ur family.
Submitted by Janet worsham on Aug 8 2017 10:31:35 AM
Olive, I have known you all my life & you have been like a mom to my mom. I remember going over your house a lot as a kid & even staying with you when I had nowhere else to go. I had never had a banana & mayonaise sandwich, until you made me one. After my grand parents passed while in elementary school, I remember telling you I was adopting you as my grandma. You were exceptional particular about how things should be & your house was always in order. Thank you for all you taught, shared, & corrected me on. I needed it. I will always remember you & happy for the last few comical visits where I had you laughing like a school girl when we last came to visit.
Submitted by Mandy Ellis on Aug 7 2017 07:36:47 PM
I've known you all my life, you've been an inspiration to me. We have laughed, we've sung together and shared many stories. I know now that you are with God and you are resting in peace.
Shirley Kittinger Perkins
Submitted by Shirley Kittinger Perkins on Aug 3 2017 02:23:09 PM
I have many fond memories of Olive. She was always a classy lady with an outstanding sense of humor. She will truly be missed by all of her NAEOP friends.
Submitted by Lola Young on Aug 3 2017 09:54:49 AM
Text me the address
The address has been sent to your phone