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May 27, 1946 – Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Service Information
The Peterson Chapel, Buffalo
May 16, 2011
10:00 a.m.

Visitation Information

Gary Clarence Ritari, age 64, of rural Buffalo, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, May 11, 2011.

He was born on May 27, 1946, in Wadena, Minnesota.

Gary and Elizabeth Kent were joined in holy matrimony. God blessed their marriage with three children.

Gary was a decorated Vietnam veteran serving in the United States Navy 1964-1968 as a Marksman supporting ground operations and a military policeman. From 1969 to 1996, Gary worked as a Police Officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, retiring as a decorated veteran with 27 years of Police Service. He spent the rest of his career in public service to the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and the State of Minnesota. At the time of his death, Gary was the Manager of Intellectual Properties for the State of Minnesota. He dedicated his life to public service.

Gary enjoyed his farm and working the land. His cows and his tractors gave him hours of enjoyment. Most of all, he got great joy from his eleven grandchildren, who provided him endless entertainment. He generously shared the stories of interaction and love for them all.

Survived by his loving wife: Elizabeth “Betty”; a son: John (Jeni Becker); daughters: Tammy Steil (Peter) and Jennifer Cameron (Douglas); brothers: Douglas, Daniel (Jeanne) and Richard; sisters: Judy Boyd (Dennis), Sharon Mason (Ron) and Alice Hanson (K.C.); eleven grandchildren: Jeffrey and Matthew Steil, Megan, Michael, Janell, Nicholas, Christopher, and Alexander Ritari, Jack, Gary, and Joseph Cameron; many loving nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Gertrude Ritari and in-laws Jack and Velma Kent.

Funeral services for Gary Ritari will be held on Monday, May 16th at 10:00 A.M. at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. Police Chaplain Jeff Stewart will officiate.

Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery on Monday May 16th at 1:00 pm Assembly Area #3.

A visitation will be held on Sunday, May 15th from 3-8 P.M. at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. Further visitation will be held on Monday one hour prior to services.

Honorary Casket Bearers will be Steve Kulzer and Bill McNamara.

Casket Bearers will be grandsons: Jeff Steil, Matt Steil, Jack Cameron, Michael Ritari; brothers: Douglas Ritari, Daniel Ritari and Richard Ritari and friend: Maurice Melchert.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested for The Minneapolis Police Honor Guard.

The Peterson Chapel, Buffalo is proud to have served the family.

16 Guestbook Entries

  1. David C Johnson

    I am so sorry for your loss. Blessings to you and your family during this time of sorrow.

    You are in our prayers.


  2. Jeff Miller

    My sincerest condolences to Gary’s family on your loss.
    Rest in peace, Gary.

  3. John and Nancy Lambrecht

    Our prayers are with you, Betty and your family. No words can express your loss.
    Love and Blessings, John and Nan

  4. Sharon an dRich bachman

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all! He was a great man and will be missed!

  5. Michael Kjos

    Gary was a close friend and colleague and I will miss him greatly, as I am sure all of you will. Every day was a learning experience with Gary, converting a cop into a computer guy.

  6. Larry and Tammy Enright

    We are so honored to have known Gary. His practical jokes and his smiling face will always be remembered. Gary and his family are in our thoughts & prayers.

    Larry, Tammy and family

  7. marian botzet

    Our sympathy and prayers to Betty and all of her family. Who could have asked for such a wonderful family? We love you all and hold you in our hearts so very close. Gary always held such a special spot in all of our hearts, and always will. God has received one of the most special angels anyone could ever have taken from us all.
    Mel & Marian

  8. Eric Werner, Captain, Burnsville Police Department

    Gary was a good friend and colleague. The prayers and condolences of the Burnsville Police Department are with the Ritari family.

  9. Sandy (Maijala) South

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you, Betty, and to your whole family. God Bless and you all are in my prayers. Sandy and Ray

  10. Warren and Linda Williams

    You and Betty were always there for us. We can’t express the sadness we feel. We had some pretty great and memorable times over the years. We’ll never forget.

  11. Marilyn Steinkraus

    Dear Gary’s family: I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I remember the great joys of coming to the farm in Minnesota from Iowa and playing with cousin Gary and the sisters in the hayloft. What laughter and giggles as we all had as we jumped out of there. What a wonderful life of great service he lived. God’s blessings upon all of you.
    Jon and Marilyn (Steinkraus) Dostal.

  12. Colette and Kerby Desens

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.

  13. Ali Salemohamed

    My heart goes out to the family members of Gary. I have known him for the last few years, working here in the City of Mpls. A very dedicated and hard working and a good role model. The City can sure use people like Gary. I will always keep him in my prayers and will also pray to the Allmighty to grant the strength to the family members to bear such a tragic loss. Please accept my hearty condolences and during these tough times if myself or my family can be of any assistance and help please do let me know. May God Bless.

  14. LaVonne ( Steinkraus) Hagan

    Thinking of you in your sorrow and extending deepest and most heartfelt sympathy. I remember the fun we had when we went to Gert and Clarence’s in the summer and we played and had fun in the barn. I wish we could have kept in touch through the years.
    Sincerely, Lavonne Hagan

  15. Sue Brown

    Please accept my sincere sympathy to all of you. I don’t know how many times that my kids have been at Mom and Dad’s and one of them hears a tractor coming down the road and they immediately say, “That’s Gary on his tractor”. Your family have been good neighbors and friends for many years.

  16. Michele Hagen

    My heart goes out to you all.

    Here is information to donate on behalf of the family to the Minneapolis Police Honor Guard. Donations may be sent to the Honor Guard Commander, Lt. William Whisney at
    1911 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418-4529.
    Please make checks out to “Minneapolis Safe Zone” with a notation in the Memo Section indicating that it’s for the Honor Guard.


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