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He was born Charles Francis O'Connor, Jr. in Worcester, Massachusetts on February 10, 1932. Following the death of his father in 1939, he was adopted by his mother's second husband, Earl Ambrose Ritzi.
From the time he was a very young boy, Chuck loved to fish!
He graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Wildlife Management. Following his graduation, he and Janet (White) were married. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the United States Army assigned as tank unit commander with the First Infantry Division. Janet joined him there at Harvey Barracks, Kitzingen Army Airfield, Germany, where they spent their first year of married life.
Following his military service, Chuck completed his Master of Science degree in Zoology and Fisheries Science at the University of Maine in Orono. While in graduate school he joined the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as one of the original group of regional biologists; the career of a lifetime for a "guy who loved to fish." In 1974 he was named the first Environmental Coordinator for the Department authoring much of Maine's Great Pond Act.
Chuck retired from state service in 1980 and entered the private sector; first as an environmental scientist for Kleinschmidt & Dutting Engineering and in 1983 established his own environmental consultant firm, Charles Ritzi Associates. During this time he served on Governor Angus King's Maine Atlantic Salmon Task Force.
Upon retirement in 1998, Chuck and Janet traveled in their motorhome for more than fifteen years from Maine, through the Maritimes to Newfoundland, across Canada up the ALCAN Highway to Alaska, east and west across the United States always searching for new and challenging fishing areas. In recent years, they resided in Florida and Maine near sons, Kevin and Steve, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Chuck returned to Readfield in 2013 where he and Janet made their home near son Kevin.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Janet, sons Steven of Tampa, Florida and Kevin of Readfield, Maine, brother, Earl of Barre, MA, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his father, Charles Francis O'Connor, Sr., adoptive father Earl Ambrose Ritzi, mother, Edith and two infant sons.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Alzheimer's Day Care Center,154 Dresden Avenue
Gardiner, ME 04345
Arrangements are in the care of Roberts Funeral Home, 62 Bowdoin St., Winthrop, where condolences, memories and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at www.khrfuneralhomes.com.
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