Obituary – Ritchey, Billie Marian (Kirchner)

Class of 1934

Billie Marian (Kirchner) Ritchey

October 17, 1916 – April 24, 2007

Billie M. Ritchey, 90, of Perry, Oklahoma was the daughter of Peter L. and Jennie M. Jones Kirchner. She was born October 17, 1916 in Perry, Oklahoma and died Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at her home.

Billie was a 1934 graduate of Perry High School and attended Oklahoma AM OSU for two years.

In 1936, she and Jack Dudley, an oilfield worker from Texas, were married. They divorced in 1942.

During World War II, Billie worked at Republic Aviation in Evansville Indiana. After the war, she married Kenneth A. Ritchey, a civilian test pilot for Republic Aviation. The couple moved to Salem, Illinois where her husband was a flight instructor under the G.I. Bill of Rights and Billie was employed as an office clerk. In 1950, after the program ended, the Ritcheys moved to Belleville, Illinois where they entered the real estate and residential construction business.

On January 11, 1964, her husband, Kenneth, died. In 1968, Billie moved back to Perry and joined her step-father, C.B. Forney, and later, her brother, Don Kirchner, in the cattle business. She retired in 1980 and purchased a small home in a fish camp on a lake in Florida. Billie spent her winters fishing in Florida until 2006 when she sold her Florida property and returned to Perry where she continued to take care of family farms and property.

Her lifetime hobbies were tennis, golf, bowling, and especially fishing. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Perry.

Graveside services will be at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 1, 2007 in the Grace Hill Memorial Pavilion at Grace Hill Cemetery in Perry. Rev. Marilyn Weathers will officiate. Memorials may be made to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Cancer Fund in care of Brown-Dugger Funeral Home, 1010 N. 7th Street, Perry, Oklahoma 73077.

Billie was preceded in death by her father, Peter Kirchner, in 1916; a half-brother, Hubert Forney, in 1949; her step-father, C.B. Forney, in 1975; her mother, Jennie Kirchner Forney, in 1985; and her brother, Don Kirchner, in 1994.