Eugene ‘Tex’ Stotler Ritter, 98, of Melbourne Passes Away, Will Be Laid to Rest at Arlington National Cemetery
By Space Coast Daily // August 13, 2022
Tex was a C-46 Hump Pilot who served in the China-Burma-India Theater of War during World War II
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Eugene “Tex” Stotler Ritter, 98, of Melbourne, Fla., passed away peacefully in Melbourne Tuesday, April 26, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born March 3, 1924, in Unity, to the late Earl and Ella Ritter.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife and companion of 76 years, Betty Ann Kelley Ritter; four children, Carol Spurlock (Fred), of Gainesville, Va., David Ritter (Ilene), of Reston, Va., Donna Pivik (John), of Vienna, Va., and Debbie Bottorf (Tom), of Lake Frederick, Va.; seven grandchildren, Stephanie (Terry), Steven, Matthew, Michelle, Michael, Erika (Mike) and Elizabeth (Paul); and seven great-grandchildren, Joshua, Megan, Benjamin, Parker, Ethan, Andrew and Olivia.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps, proudly serving his country from Dec. 7, 1941, until his honorable discharge on March 2, 1946, with the rank of first lieutenant. Tex was a C-46 Hump Pilot who served in the China-Burma-India Theater of War during World War II.
He was assigned to the 14th Air Force, 1st Combat Cargo Squadron in Chengtu, China, under Commanding Officer General Chennault. His flight missions consisted of flying over “the Hump,” which was the nickname allied pilots gave the airlift operation that crossed the Himalayan foothills into China. It was the Army Air Corp’s most dangerous airlift route, but it was the only way to supply the Chinese forces fighting Japan.
After leaving the service, Tex worked for the Bell Telephone Co. until he retired in 1982. Once retired, Tex and Betty loved to travel all over the country in their Airstream travel trailer.
He was a very spiritual man who enjoyed attending weekly services and fellowship with church friends. He also enjoyed the outdoors – fishing, hunting, golfing and working in his vegetable garden, especially his tomato plants. He also liked to cross-stitch, weave rugs and work on jigsaw puzzles. He was an avid sports fan who loved the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates.
He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in a military ceremony at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Union Presbyterian Church, Murrysville, in memory of Eugene “Tex” Stotler Ritter.