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Obituary: Alvin H. Ritz

Alvin (Al) H. Ritz, 82, of Carmel, Indiana, passed away April 5 after a courageous battle with cardiovascular disease.

He was born in New York City on September 24, 1935, to Herman and Anna Ruth (Messer) Ritz and raised in Washington, DC. Al graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1958 with honors in Chemical Engineering. The recipient of several grants and internships, he worked at SRI International (Stanford Research Institute), Menlo Park, CA, as a research chemist in combustion kinetics, and at Allis Chalmers, Milwaukee, WI, as a sales trainee, prior to attending graduate school. He graduated from the Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration degree in 1962.

After graduation he worked for Dow Corning, Midland, MI, as a sales engineer responsible for technical sales and service and for Baxter Laboratories, Morton Grove, IL, as a commercial development analyst. While at Baxter he was enrolled in a doctoral program in Applied Math and Statistics at Illinois Institute of Technology.

An offer to join Ransburg Electro-Coating Corporation as marketing manager in 1968 brought him and his young family to Indianapolis. At Ransburg he directed the product development, market research, advertising, and public relations departments; he also developed and recommended marketing policies and new product programs. Following Ransburg, he was the government and intercompany divisional sales manager at Firestone Industrial Products.

In 1977, drawing on a successful career in which he obtained several patents, including the prefilled syringe and contributions to the development of the dialysis machine, Al established his own manufacturers’ representative agency, A. H. Ritz and Associates, which represented principals in metal-working and plastics industries for 30 years. Throughout his career he was an active member of several professional associations, receiving recognition and awards for his business practices.

Al was a beloved husband and father, always present and active in his family’s life. He will be fondly remembered – and greatly missed – for his great love and regard for his wife of 56 years; the gift of entrepreneurial spirit and the confidence to pursue it which he provided to each of his children; his humor and bright outlook; and his kindness and generosity to loved ones and strangers.

Predeceased by his son, Stephen Mark Ritz, parents, and his brother; he is survived by his wife Patricia (Padway) Ritz and daughter Elisabeth Ritz (Winfield Thom), Chicago.

More Alumni Notes

Leah Hunter ’05 has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as associate commissioner for external affairs, where she oversees agency-wide communications activities regarding the FDA’s public health and regulatory activities.