Bernice Marie Rittner
May 15, 1932 – April 3, 2019
Bernice Marie Rittner, 86, formerly of Cresson, died Wednesday, April 3, 2019. She was a wife, mother, medical professional, secular Franciscan and church volunteer.
She was born in Loretto, daughter of C. Leonard Tubbs and Grace (Parrish). On July 24, 1954, she married James A. Rittner, the love of her life. They had three children.
Surviving are two sons: Richard J. in New York and James A. II of Cresson; a daughter, Marianne and her husband, David Holmes, in New Mexico; a close family friend, Ruth Diehl; loving cousins: Florence Bradley in Florida and Kevin McMullen of Cresson; as well as many friends and relatives in the area.
She was preceded in death by parents; her husband, Dr. James A. Rittner; a brother, Richard; and her grandmother, Martha Parrish, who helped raise her.
She was a 1950 graduate of Cresson High School and a 1953 graduate of Mount Aloysius Junior College. She completed her medical technology training at Conemaugh Hospital in Johnstown in 1954. Later, she earned a Bachelor of Science and a master’s degree in education at Saint Francis University, Loretto.
After the children were older, Bernice returned to work at Mercy Hospital in Altoona. She earned national registry certification as a medical technologist and became active in the South Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society for MTs, holding the office of president in 1981-82. She was promoted several times at Altoona Mercy, eventually achieving the position of hospital laboratory supervisor, which she held until her retirement in 1997.
She was a member of the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan order. She was active in St. Aloysius Catholic Parish in the Pastoral Council and St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Bernice spent the last year and a half in New Mexico, where she enjoyed muchos amigos from church and the fire department, especially Angela Norman and Father Jose Hernandez.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at Gibbons Funeral Home, 1688 Liberty St., Ashville. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 25, 2019, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Cresson, Father Leo Arnone, celebrant. Committal will be at the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Vincent de Paul via St. Aloysius Parish.