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Laura Eugenia “Rusty” Ritter Bluntzer, 99, passed away peacefully at her home on September 25, 2022.
She was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 6, 1923, to James Elmer Ritter and Willie Mae Hanna, the first of three girls. She attended Tennessee Industrial School, where she was a cheerleader and Society Editor of the yearbook. Her classmates called her “Red”, a tribute to her stunning auburn locks. The nickname evolved to become “Rusty”, an endearment she was called by everyone she knew and would come to meet. Always very social, Rusty’s charismatic personality and sharp sense of humor attracted lifelong friendships from all aspects of her active life.
During World War II, Rusty worked at McDonnell Aircraft, which eventually brought her to Corpus Christi, Texas. Here she would meet William N. “Bill” Bluntzer, Jr. while attending a Catholic Youth Club event. Their strong love and adoration of each other brought them to wed on June 5, 1948, at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. During their 61-year marriage, they were blessed with four children; Nicky, Nell, Rick, and Paul.
Rusty’s 48-year career centered around the needs of others, providing medical assistance to Dr. Kathryn Heaney, Dr. Hans Heymann, Dr. William Shields, Dr. Gerald Ahern, and finally Dr. John Hornung, from whose practice she retired in 1998.
Rusty was steadfast in her love and devotion for her husband and children, and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren that would continue to bless her life. She enjoyed hosting frequent gatherings for family and friends, where she would prepare enormous homemade banquets. She took great pride in having enough food for her guests, plus plenty of leftovers for everyone to take home. In addition to entertaining, Rusty enjoyed photography, taking thousands of photos of her flower beds and family members. She loved playing slot machines in Las Vegas or betting on horses in Nuevo Laredo, occasionally stealing away with a few grandchildren in tow to share her experiences.
Rusty spent many years volunteering with the VFW Post 7841 Ladies’ Auxiliary, serving posts as President, Treasurer, and Senior Vice President many times, further expanding her circle of meaningful friendships. She became somewhat famous for cooking the best burgers in town on her assigned Bingo night. She also devoted time to the Nueces County Medical Society, receiving their Award of Appreciation for her time and dedication in 1993. In addition, she was honored to receive the Nueces Medical Chapter of AAMA’s recognition of achievement as their Medical Assistant of the Year in 1982. She was also a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Calallen.
Rusty is survived by her daughter, Nell Bluntzer Jones and her husband, George of Corpus Christi; son, James Richard “Rick” Bluntzer and his wife, Becky of Spring Branch; and son, Paul Vincent Bluntzer and his wife, Marce of New Braunfels; grandchildren, Nancy (John) King of Houston, Brandi (Chester) Bullard of LaVernia, Britni (Chad) Ryan of Cypress, Shay Bluntzer of San Antonio, Kiersten (Tanner) Sharp of Tucson, AZ, and Konner Bluntzer of College Station; in addition to 7 great-grandchildren, half-sister, Shirley (Leo) Gaffney of Kingman, AZ; sister-in-law, Naomi Tischler of Corpus Christi, and numerous loving nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; as well as her loving husband, Bill; and her son, William Nicholas “Nicky” Bluntzer III; her sisters, Ellie Mae Hooke and Etta Jo Chabot; brother-in-law, Joseph “Joe” Bluntzer and wife, Vera; and brother-in-law, Edwin “Younger”’ Tischler; and half-brothers, Ronnie Ritter and Johnny Ritter.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to those who cared for her in the last months of her life, especially Tammy Masters, Carla Treviño, and Lucy Franco, which allowed her to peacefully stay in the home she loved and with the companionship of her overprotective chihuahua, Lanai.
In lieu of flowers, Rusty’s family would appreciate a modest donation to Coastal Bend Small Breed Rescue - (361)939-9462 / www.coastalbendsmallbreedrescue.com
Viewing will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2022 from 5pm-8pm at Sawyer-George Funeral Home. Funeral service is Friday, September 30, 2022 at 10am at Sawyer-George Funeral Home, followed by a graveside service at Rosehill Cemetery.
Thursday, September 29, 2022
5:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)
Friday, September 30, 2022
Starts at 10:00am (Central time)
Friday, September 30, 2022
Sawyer-George Funeral Home
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