In Memory of




Obituary for Albert Henry Ritsema

Albert “Al” H. Ritsema, age 92, entered eternal life, joining his wife, parents, and grandson, on Thursday, March 23, 2023. He was born in Grand Rapids, MI on May 15, 1930, the son of the late Fred and Nellie Ritsema.

Al Graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School and obtained degrees from Calvin College, University of Michigan and Michigan State University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 until 1955, including one year in Europe.

He married Wilma J. Penno on June 20, 1958, in Lansing, MI. They made their home in Grandville, MI where their children, Michael and Nancy, were born.

He worked for the Grand Rapids School System as a school social worker and a high school counselor. He moved with his family to Oshkosh in 1968 to take a position at the UW Oshkosh Counseling Center. In addition, he also taught part time in the Counselor Education Graduate Program and the Bachelor of Liberal Studies Program. In 1984 he received the UW-Oshkosh Outstanding Service Award.

As a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Oshkosh, he served as deacon, elder, church school teacher and choir member. For many years he was a driver for the Oshkosh Meals on Wheels Program during his vacations.

After retirement he became the primary caregiver for his wife, Wilma, who had a stroke in August, 1996, three months after his retirement. She preceded Al in death on February 11, 2020. He served as President of the UW-Oshkosh Retired Faculty Association and later became a member of the Evergreen Retirement Community Village Board. He and Wilma had moved to Evergreen Village in May, 1998.

Al enjoyed various activities involving Wilma, their children and their spouses, their grandchildren, and great-granddaughter. He enjoyed tennis, golf, swimming, square dancing, music and traveling. He was able to travel extensively, beginning when he was in the Army in Europe. He and Wilma saw much of the continental U.S. with their children. After the nest emptied, their travels included trips to Europe, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada.

His survivors include his son, Michael (Luanne) Ritsema of Verona, WI; daughter, Nancy (fiance, Steve Gray) Seroogy of Hampshire, IL; granddaughter, Jennifer (Alex) Nyffeler; great-granddaughter, Aliza Nyffeler; sister, Suzanne (Robert) Vandenbosch of Seattle, WA; brothers: Herbert (Jan) Ritsema of Grand Rapids, MI, Roger (Char) Ritsema of Grand Rapids, MI, James (Jean) Ritsema of Jenison, MI and William (Verna) of Hudsonville, MI; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Wilma; his parents, Fred and Nellie Ritsema; grandson, James Seroogy; son-in-law, Jeff Seroogy; brother, Robert (Cheryl) Ritsema; sister, Jane (Cliff) Cooke; and sister-in-law, Joan Ritsema.

A visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the memorial service at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the chapel in Evergreen Retirement Community, 1130 N. Westfield St., Oshkosh. After the service a meal will be served. In lieu of flowers, Al has requested that memorials be given to First Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund or Evergreen Retirement Community Benevolent Fund.