For those of us who usually read this very newspaper over lunch at South Dining Hall during our collegiate days, more often than not, we were greeted by John and Lila Ritschard — a loving, genuine couple who devoted many years to this university, and in particular, South Dining Hall.
John and Lila swiped cards at the station to the right as you entered South. Whether you knew John or not, he was always there to tell a witty joke and explain what was on the menu that afternoon. And if it was your birthday — boy, were you in luck. John would announce it to the hungry, packed line behind you, would occasionally sing and would always have a candy bar ready to make your day. John taught me, and surely hundreds of others, more lessons than we ever learned in any classroom.
I was lucky to maintain a friendship with John and Lila in the years following graduation. While I know it was a tough 4.5 past months for John, the inevitable became reality this weekend when John passed away from us.
While it is truly a massive loss for me and the Notre Dame community, it’s a big gain for John — who’s most certainly up there greeting others just as he did to us at South.
God Bless and rest easy, John.
class of 2014
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.