Obituary - Susan Ritchie, NNEP Co-Founder
Susan Williams Ritchie, 81, of Stow, Ohio passed away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by all of her family on August 28, 2016 after a 3-year struggle with cancer. Born in Rocky River, Ohio, Susan is survived by her husband of 59 years, Arch Ritchie, and their children, Kevin (Amy) Ritchie, Bruce (Ann) Ritchie, Jennifer (Troy) Cox and Barbara (Warren) Bebinger and their grandchildren, Sarah and Amanda Ritchie, Emilee, Lauren and Bryan Ritchie, Tyler and Olivia Cox and Jack and Laura Bebinger. She is also survived by her brother William A. Williams and her sister Barbara (George) Thomas.
As a teenager, Susan was awarded a Red Cross Presidential Medal when she saved a young child’s life while serving as a lifeguard at Wagar Beach in Cleveland.
Susan attended Stephens College and then graduated from Ohio State University as a Registered Licensed Occupational Therapist. Continuing her education, she later received master’s degrees from Kent State University and from the University of Colorado. In addition to positions with University Hospitals, Susan taught at Kent State University in Family Studies and then served as the Director of Rehabilitation at Edwin Shaw Hospital.
Switching careers in the late 1980’s, Susan purchased the Ball and Skein, a needle arts boutique in Hudson, Ohio. Over the next 25 years, the business evolved into a successful retail commercial embroidery business, then into a contract embroidery business and ultimately into the NNEP, a national association supporting business owners in the commercial embroidery industry. Susan was recognized as one of the most creative and influential national leaders in the field for many years by industry trade publications.
Susan and Arch enjoyed travel and visited national parks, landmarks and antique malls in every single state with the exception of Idaho and Hawaii. A great lover of crafts, she was always working on something – knitting, quilting and sewing. She was also an avid reader and greatly enjoyed a well-crafted sentence, paragraph or book.
Susan passed away with grace and dignity while under the care of an amazing team of caregivers coordinated by the Summa Hospice at Home Services.
Susan will be honored at a Memorial Service on October 1, 2016 at 3 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent, 228 Gougler Ave in Kent, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent.
I'm so sorry to hear and read about Susan's passing... Ever since I can remember having anything to do with embroidery, Susan has always been a source of knowledge, of reassurance, resource. Even after 15 years in business, I'm not quite sure how to survive in the industry without her guiding hand. I will miss her welcoming smile, handshake and hug at NNEP and ISS trade shows. Thank you Susan for lighting the fire of my passion for designing and digitizing for embroidery in me, I feel honored to have known you in person!
Andrea - what a lovely way to express how Susan played a role in your business. Thank you so much, from of us.