August 6, 1922 - November 6, 2015
Memorial services for Mr. Ritz will be held at 2:30 P.M. on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at Prestonwood Court located at 7001 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, TX 75093 and another service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at New Life Baptist Church (Broken Arrow) 851 W. Norman Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74012
He is preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Mary Aileen Pritchett Ritz. He is survived by his son, David M. Ritz of Dallas, Texas and his daughter, Andrea Ritz Saloman of Jenks, Oklahoma; 5 Grandchildren and 4 Great Grandchildren.
Tunney was born to Arthur and Edith Bier Ritz on August 6, 1922 in Okeene, Oklahoma. He was the youngest of 4 chikdren. He and older brother, Melvin Ritz adopted the names of championship boxers, Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey, respectively.
Tunney graduated from Okeene High School in 1940 and joined the Navy in 1942, stationed in the Soloman Islands until 1945. He was relocated to Olathe, Kansas where he met Mary Pritchett at the USO Club and after one year’s courtship, they married June 1, 1946.
After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1950 with a B.S. in Business Administration, Tunney joined Stanolin Oil Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When he transferred to Oklahoma City in 1951, Tunney’s business career and family life took off. Son, David was born in 1953 and daughter, Andrea in 1957. Tunney became an accomplished bowler in the Standard Oil Company of Indiana City League. As a member of the “Sharks”, Tunney led the league in scoring for three championship years.
Tunney’s focus turned to coaching baseball in the early 1960’s. He led his son, David’s team to the OKC championship in 1965. Tunney was elected President of the Nimitz Admirals Quarterback club in 1967.
After Tunney’s company consolidated back to Tulsa in 1965, his wife, Mary’s health began to deteriorate. For the next 37 years, Tunney served faithfully and cared for Mary’s every need until she succumbed to rheumatoid arthritis in 2002.
The final chapter of Tunney’s life began in October 2013 when he moved to the Prestonwood Court Assisted Living Center to be closer to his son, David. There they pursued their passion for St. Louis Cardinals Baseball and OU Football.
In God’s providence, Tunney passed to his eternal reward on November 6, 2015.
The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made in Mary and Tunney’s honor to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation 200 Oceangate, Suite 830, Long Beach, California 90802 or http://www.curearthritis.org/
Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252
To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.