Mike Ritter was born into foster care on November 17, 1973, in Santa Clara, CA. He was placed into the foster home of Robin McBeath, Beverly McBeath, and Scott McBeath at the age of one and we were lucky to have him from then on.
Born with developmental delays and medical issues, he faced certain challenges his entire life. Always happy, friendly, and talkative; he loved being with people as much as possible! He would always say that everyone is “a friend of mine!”
He started in Special Education classes at the age of 2, and “graduated” from a junior college program at 22.
Mike loved travelling; going to Broadway musicals, Disneyland, Las Vegas, England, big hotels, The “Seattle Space Needle”, concerts with Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton and P!NK!
He really enjoyed Special Olympic Bowling, working his janitorial job on Fridays, and cashing his “big checks!”
He loved having a “plan for the day”, as long as it always included golfing and going “round in circles” in the golf cart at the Country Club or Lake Padden Golf Course; working out at the gym with a “water break” and a snack or lunch with “Big Brother Scott.”
He slept with his glasses on and wore his hearing aids every day without fail. He was never without his iPad, MP3 player, and earphones! Music was everything to him, and he’d sing everything from Country Western to Christmas Carols.
He loved big sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, salmon rice bowls, raspberries, and cherry HINT water.
Good friends from CA and WA, combined with everyone in our large McBeath/Follis/Tetrick families always included Mike in everything! He looked forward to holiday get togethers, weddings, July 4th on Eliza Island, Saturday night game nights, walking in the Tulip fields, all sporting events, restaurants, movie theatres, the American Flag, and more!
He loved his big bedroom, tv, and remote … he was never without his hat, wallet, and watch; he’d wear shorts every day and mostly red socks! He’d always say, “I got a question;” and reel us all in. Everyone took time to listen and answer him.
Over the years his support group was huge, and they all did their best to help him. There were teachers, doctors, dentists, nurses, PA’s, Case Managers, Social Workers, neighbors, friends and their friends, job coaches, Special Olympics, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, cousins, dogs, lawyers, Speech and Occupational Therapists, and of course Mom, Annie Bev, Big Brother Scott and so many more. It took everyone to give him his chance; and to live in a world where things were sometimes tough. We know he touched many, and brought so much joy… so a huge “THANK YOU” to all for helping our boy…
Sadly, Mike passed away in Bellingham, WA on January 31, 2023.
A Celebration of Life will be held on February 23 at 1:00 pm at Moles Farewell Tributes – 2465 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, WA.