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Morton, IL – August 23, 2012 – Today, the Morton Chamber of Commerce announced that Dale Ritthaler is the Parade Marshal for the 46th Annual Morton Pumpkin Festival. “This person served in World War II as a Staff Sergeant and was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery and the Bronze Star for action beyond the call of duty,“ said Linc Hobson, Chairman of the Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade, during the announcement. “He was a founding member of the Rotary Club of Morton and was named the “Outstanding Man of the Year” by the Morton Junior Chamber of Commerce for his leadership ability, cheerful attitude, and community service. Dale Ritthaler is this year’s Pumpkin Festival Parade Marshal!”
Dale Ritthaler grew up in Tremont and is best known as the former Executive Vice President of First National Bank of Morton. He was with the bank when they decided to donate a strip of land to the library board to support the construction of a new Morton Public Library.
He is a founding member of the Rotary Club of Morton, a past Commander of the Morton VFW Post, and past Secretary and Treasurer for the Kennel Lake Sportsmen’s Club and the Morton Chapter of the Salvation Army. He served as Secretary for the Morton Board of Appeals for 17 years and continues to volunteer his time for the Mennonite Relief Sale.
In one of his nomination letter’s for the award, his daughter Jan Powers wrote, “My father, Dale, is one of the kindest and most generous men I know. He continues to give willingly to charities of all kinds and does whatever he can still do to promote the Morton community…the city he has so dearly loved and worked hard for all of his life! When we are out in public together I often witness people who will stop and take the time to come up to him and thank him for helping them get their start in life in the Morton community. I think that says a lot!”
Ritthaler was married to his beloved wife, Patricia, for 60 years. She passed away in 2008. They have three children, Judy Volle, Jan Powers and Jim Ritthaler, six grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
Ritthaler can be seen in this year’s Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade on Saturday, September 15th and also at the Opening Ceremonies for the Morton Pumpkin Festival on Wednesday, September 12th.
Since 1970, the Morton Chamber of Commerce has, through a nomination process, selected a well-respected community leader to honor as the Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade Marshal. For a list of past honorees, please go to www.mortonpumpkinfestival.org.