Goebel F. "Tex" Ritter
Goebel F. "Tex" Ritter, 80, was born February 26, 1924, in Richmond, KY. He was called home on Friday, October 15, 2004. He was the son of the late Cecil and Viola Hammon Ritter. While enrolled as a student at Eastern Kentucky University on a football scholarship, he enlisted with the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He served in the invasions of Guam and Iwo Jima, earning two Purple Hearts and Oak Leaf Clusters. He returned to EKU after the war, playing basketball, golf, track and baseball and earning recognition as a "little All-American" in all four sports. While there, he also won the heart of his beloved wife, Penny, whom he married in 1947. Goebel earned a bachelor of arts and, later, a master of arts at EKU. Goebel played professional basketball as a member of the New York Knicks from 1948- 1951. Thereafter, he returned to Kentucky, where he taught and coached basketball at Fleming-Neon (KY), Hazard (KY) and Whitesburg high schools. During his 10- year tenure at Hazard, he took the Bulldogs to four state championships, winning the state tournament in 1955. He was honored for his athletic achievements by being named to the Hazard High School Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Dawahare's Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1991. Goebel was employed by the Letcher County Board of Education as administrator at the central office until his retirement in 1992. Additionally, he served as past rotary president and official for the Whitesburg Peewee Basketball League, where he shared his love and knowledge of basketball with thousands of children. Goebel's life was distinguished by his excellent service to his country, his community, his church and God. Goebel was a member of Whitesburg First Baptist Church, where he faithfully attended and served as a deacon. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Pauline Caudill Ritter; his daughter, Susanne R., son-in-law, Alex C. Baker, grandson, Alex Christopher Baker, and granddaughter, Sarah Susanne Baker, all of West Palm Beach, FL; two sisters, Christine Wilson and Francis Woods, both of Dallas, TX; his church family and friends; and generations of boys and girls by whom he will be long remembered. The funeral service for Goebel F. Ritter will be conducted at 11:30 a.m. Monday, October 18, 2004, from Whitesburg First Baptist Church, with Tony Brown as the officiating minister. Burial will follow in Sandlick Cemetery. Everidge Funeral Home, Whitesburg, in charge of arrangements. Active pallbearers will be the deacons of Whitesburg First Baptist Church and honorary pallbearers will be "his boys" and Letcher County bus drivers.