Gilbert Ricter - Account of Last Days

During Gilbert’s annual physical the end of December 2004, a lump was found in his abdomen. He had a biopsy in late December, and learned in early January that he had lymphoma. His diagnosis of Burkitt’s lymphoma came on March 4. The doctor asked him to come in that day, but Gilbert wanted to have one more meeting before going in to begin treatment. He entered the hospital on Monday, March 7. On Tuesday, March 8, he had his first chemo. Complications necessitated surgery on Wednesday, March 9. Gilbert had three chemo treatments, three weeks apart. From the time Gilbert first went in to the hospital until his death, he was either in the hospital or in an apartment that is a block from the Altru Hospital, Grand Forks. During the three months of his illness, he was cared for by his sister, Linda, and her husband, Arlyn; nephew Dean Ricter and his wife Jeanette; nephew Darren Schulz; niece Molly Schulz; workers, Richard Harbur, David Bergh, Paul Haakenson, Jeffrey Vogelzang, and John Simons: and friends, Arnold Overland and Mark Richtsmeier. All through his illness, Gilbert was still pouring out his life for others; reaching out with a phone call, dropping a nugget here and there. He had two goals during his treatment. One was to come to the workers meeting at Hope, ND, April 25. The other was to come to the workers meeting at Hector, MN, May 24-26. He was able for the meeting at Hope, and poured out to us in a way that we will not forget. He declined steadily from that point, and was not able to make it to the meeting at Hector. Gilbert asked for all the ND staff to come to see him, and that was accomplished by Saturday, May 28. 

Sunday afternoon, May 29, 2005, Gilbert and his family asked that all medical assistance be removed. He quietly entered into eternity a little over an hour later. Gilbert E. Ricter, age 78, resident of Hunter, ND, died Sunday, May 29, 2005 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND. Gilbert Eugene Ricter was born August 11, 1926 at Chicago, IL, the son of Terry and Signe (Johnson) Ricter. In 1949, Gilbert left his logging business to give his life for the work of the gospel. His ministry included eleven years in Minnesota, twenty-five years in New Mexico and twenty years in North Dakota. Gilbert is survived by 2 brothers, Conrad Ricter and Louis (Faye) Ricter; 1 sister, Linda (Arlyn) Schultz; 1 brother-in-law, Tom Schroeder; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; 1 brother, Edward Ricter; 1 sister, Geraldine Schroeder; and 1 nephew, Jon Ricter.

Gilbert's Funeral Service will be held at the Lakota Community Center of Lakota, ND, on Saturday, June 4, 2005 at 10:30 AM. Officiating will be Dale Spencer, Richard Harbur, and Jim Price. The pianist will be Diane Larson, and the choir will consist of Gilbert's co-workers. Interment will be at the Lakota Cemetery. Officiating at the committal service will be Joe Hobbs. Casketbearers will be Wilfred Goecke, Ken Pinney, David Bergh, Jeffrey Vogelzang, Paul Haakenson, and John Simons. Honorary bearers will include all of Gilbert's family and friends. Visitation will be held at Aaker Funeral Home of Lakota, ND, on Friday, June 3, 2005 from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM, and will continue at the Lakota Community Center on Saturday, from 9:30 AM until the time of service.