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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Audrey L. Ritter ’54

Audrey L. (Cooper) Ritter, age 90, of Medway, MA, died peacefully on Monday, June 7, 2021, at her daughter’s home in Medway. She was the beloved wife of Edward Ritter who died in 2006.

Audrey moved to Medway in 2007 having previously resided in Sunderland, MA, Charlotte, VT, Geneseo, NY, and New Jersey. Mrs. Ritter was born on February 13, 1931, to Ashley W. and Ellen L. (Swindlehurst) Cooper in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she was raised.

She graduated with honors from Westmount High School (Montreal), and continued her studies at Antioch College, Ohio and SUNY Geneseo, NY where Audrey was awarded a bachelor’s degree in History and a master’s degree in Library Science.

Mrs. Ritter is remembered for her passion and dedication. She was curator and honorary director of the Medway Historical Society, past president of the Medway Cultural Council, and volunteer at the McGovern School.

Before then, Audrey worked as the Director of the Wadsworth Library (Geneseo, NY) and as founder and librarian at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester, NY.

For a decade she was the librarian and later volunteer at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne. Audrey was a passionate genealogist, who worked diligently and meticulously on family history.

Reading and the natural world were important parts of her life, as was family. She was an active Unitarian Universalist. While raising her children she volunteered her time to support mental health and the League of Women Voters. In later life she loved her tai chi class.

She is survived by six children: Margaret Ritter of Medway, Katharine Ritter of Manchester, NH, James Ritter and his wife Anki Bengtson of Wellington, FL, Valerie Ritter and her husband Craig Macrae of Pomfret, VT, Brenda Fischer and her husband Randy of Foley, MN and Shanley Heller and her husband Barry of Medway; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

She is also survived by her brother Venn Cooper of Kanata Ontario, Canada, her sister Brenda Levin of Ridgewood, NJ as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her brother Robert Cooper of Great Village, Nova Scotia, Canada. On Friday, June 18, 2021, relatives and friends were invited to pay condolences at First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut St., Franklin MA.. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Mrs. Ritter’s memory to Medway Food Pantry, Medway Housing Authority, 600 Mahan Cir., Medway, MA 02053