On the evening of August 11th, 2020, Dennis passed away at the age of 74 in the care of his family. Dennis was born August 27th, 1945 to Marie Frances Lloyd and Oiva Michael Ritari, in Ishpeming Michigan. Dennis and his family moved to Montana where he grew up and lived his life. Butte was home to him, but he did enjoy the short periods he lived in Philipsburg, Silver Star, and Whitehall, Montana. He attended local Butte schools. He graduated from Butte High School in 1963. He then joined the Army in 1963 and was honorably discharged a paratrooper in 1966.
Dennis married Jeri Ann Hounsell in 1968 and together they had 3 children; Kevin, Keith, and Ryan. Dennis and Jeri Ann later divorced. In 1982, Dennis married his long-time friend Phyllis Saari, they later divorced.
Denny worked at the Montana Standard for 28 years as a mailroom clerk, supervisor, and then manager. During this time, he also received his bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering at Montana Tech, graduating in 1986. Dennis joined the National Guard in 1989 and served until 2006, during which time he earned the rank of Sergeant. He was proud to serve and decided to extend his retirement for the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief. He was also employed by Town Pump until he fully retired in 2008.
His most proud moments in life were watching his children and grandchildren grow to be who they are today. He also very much enjoyed the company of his brother Mike, and their humorous bantering back and forth.
He was preceded in death by his mother Marie Lloyd Johnson, his father Oiva M Ritari, Phyllis Saari, and sister-in-law Linda Argeris. He is survived by his brother Mike (Helen) Ritari, Kevin (Stephanie) Ritari, Keith Ritari, Ryan (Jen) Ritari, grandsons Kayle and Peyton, and companion Sandy Montgomery.
A memorial gathering will be held in honor of Dennis at 2 P.M. on Saturday, August 22nd, 2020, at the McQueen Athletic Club in Butte.
Please visit below to offer a condolence or share a memory of Dennis. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Dennis and his family.