Katheryn Linehan Ritchie, teacher, attorney, and judge, passed away peacefully on January 3, 2022.
Born on July 21, 1946, she was the daughter of Kathryn and Thomas Linehan of Oil City, Pa.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock College in 1968, she earned her master’s in Education from the University of Pittsburgh the following year. She taught at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and then the New York School for the Deaf from 1969 to 1976.
On August 15, 1970, she married Michael D. Ritchie, also of Oil City. They celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 2020.
From 1979 to 1985 Mrs. Ritchie focused her efforts on early education in the Port Chester School District, at the Whitby Montessori School in Greenwich, Conn., and as a consultant to the Port Chester Council for the Arts.
While raising her two young daughters during the day, she attended law school at night, earning her Juris Doctor from Pace University Law School in 1988. She went on to have a 20-year law career, starting as a Court Attorney in the Westchester County Attorney’s Office. From 1990 to 1995, she was the Senior Court Attorney for the Hon. Kathryn A McDonald, Chief Justice of the New York City Family Court. From there, she became an Associate Court Attorney, writing decisions for Family Court Judges in the Bronx Family Court and the Westchester Supreme Court, and from 2001 to 2010, in the Westchester County Family Court. No decision she wrote was ever overturned.
From 2001 to 2007, she also served three terms as an Associate Justice in the Village of Port Chester, presiding over a full, regular calendar of cases. While she served as judge in Port Chester, she also was appointed Treasurer, then Secretary, and finally Vice President of the Westchester County Magistrates’ Association.
Kathy Ritchie will be remembered “as a passionate advocate for all that was fair, just, and equal who lived her life with humanity, compassion, and deep caring for others,” said her family. Of all here titles and accomplishments, the role of her lifetime was “Mimi” to her grandchildren Zachary, Ava, Keira, Tessa, and Sebastian. It was the highlight and ultimate joy of her life to enjoy every precious moment with her “grands”.
She is survived by her husband, Michael Ritchie; her daughters, Rebecca Ritchie Brower (Peter Brower) and Sarah Katheryn Gentile (John R. Gentile Jr.); four grandchildren; her sisters, Jeanne and Mary Christine Linehan and brother, John Linehan (Sue Kennedy); as well as 19 nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sister, Judy Kervin, her brother, Thomas Linehan, her granddaughter, Keira Brower, her nephew, James Davis, and her niece, Julie Davis.
The Ritchie family worked with the expert research team at Boston Children’s Hospital after they lost granddaughter Keira Brower to SIDS in 2013. Memorial donations may be made to the Robert’s Program at Boston Children’s Hospital (www.childrenshospital.org/robertsprogram.)
Kathy’s family finds great comfort knowing that Mimi is now listening to music, baking her famous breads, and taking long walks with Keira by her side.
A celebration of her life will be held at a future date.