Pamela Pray Ritzau (Pam) died peacefully on Jan. 12, 2021, in Hailey, Idaho, in the mountains she loved.
She was born on May 27, 1940, in San Diego, Calif. However, growing up in a military family, she spent her childhood in Austria, Indiana, Virginia, California and other places where duty called her father. Pam attended Stanford University, where she majored in political science and met the love of her life, Philip Belton Ritzau. Pam and Phil married about 18 months after her graduation from Stanford. They started their life and family together in the San Francisco Bay area until 1970, when they followed their dreams of living in the mountains and moved to Ketchum, Idaho. Phil was only 54 when he died in June of 1989 and she missed him terribly for the 31 years they were apart.
Pam spent her time dedicated to her family and the community, developing deep friendships and spiritual and intellectual pursuits. As a faithful member of the Episcopal Church, she led and attended prayer groups for years. She was a member of the library board, a guardian ad litem and served on the Ketchum P&Z and City Council. Pam had a keen intellect and was a lifelong learner. Her bookshelves were packed with a spectrum of her interests, including history, politics, gardening and many healing modalities: Jungian studies, cellular memory and aromatherapy, just to name a few. She was fascinated by the written word and wrote articles for the local paper, including satirical essays, and journaled her interests with curiosity, always searching for the truth. She enjoyed sharing her knowledge and insights with her friends and was always good for a lively, thoughtful conversation.
Pam is survived by her daughter, Kirsten; her grandchildren, Kye and Leigh, both of whom held a special place in her heart; and her son, Lee (Shelli, Tristin and Emili).
Her grandchildren’s most cherished memories with her consist of spending time with her gardening, learning about history and family history, drinking chai lattes, eating tuna melts after school and, most of all, blowing each other kisses as they left her house.
Pam and her family are also blessed and thankful for the friendship and support provided by Ray and Kathryn Miller over the last 60 years and Ed Simon during the last 30.
During the last year of her life, Pam lived at Silvercreek Assisted Living and was deeply grateful for the support, care and friendship provided by Chris Haugh during her time there.
Finally, Pam and her family thank Dr. Hatzenbuehler, Dr. Levin, Dr. Fairman, Dr. Schneider, all of the wonderful nurses at St. Luke’s, the fabulous staff at Silvercreek, and Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley for the loving, compassionate care each and every one of them provided during the time before her death.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley or Men’s Second Chance Living. There will be a celebration of life this summer. Pam, rest in peace!