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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Longtime Westport Resident Ellen Street Ritter Dies at 91

Ellen Street Ritter, a longtime Westport resident who was among the founders of the Westport League of Women Voters in 1949, has died at the age of 91.

Family members said she died Sunday at the home of a son, Nicholas Street, in Gastonia, N.C.

Ritter, a former teacher at the Bedford Elementary School, lived for many years in a house on Myrtle Avenue opposite Christ and Holy Trinity Church.

Friends said it was in Ritters home in 1949 that several Westport women discussed forming a local chapter of the League of Women Voters.

ғSix women got together and started a provisionalђ League, according to an account in the LeagueԒs member handbook.

They were required to write a handbook about Westport before being accepted as a League with full status.

During that time, it was discovered that Westport had no charter for town government. The town was operating under state statutes only.

At the LeagueӒs suggestion, a Westport Charter Commission was established which included League members.

Ritter, whose first husband, Wolcott Street, died many years ago, was also a longtime member of the Saugatuck Congregational Church where she sang in the choir.

She was also active in the Interfath Council as well as the American Association of University Women.

Her second husband, Ralph Ritter, died a number of years ago.

In addition to her son Nicholas, she is survived by another son, Eric, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a daughter, Alexandra, of Santa Monica, Calif., six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service has been scheduled at the Saugatuck Congregational Church for Saturday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m.


Posted 12/23/03 at 01:24 AM  Permalink


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For many years I used to come to Westport to see Ellen in her beautiful home on Myrtle Avenue. My sister met her on a tour in Greece in 1968. She opened her home for our whole family and we did the same for her in Switzerland. Today I was homesick and I just looked for a website about Westport to remember all the good times we shared. Surprise, I found your page with dear Ellen. Thank you.

Anna Marie Hew, Zinnengasse 1. 8001 Z�rich, Switzerland

Posted by Anna Marie Hew on February 20, 2005 at 10:41 PM | #