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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Former BEHS Teacher Celebrates 80th Birthday

Former BEHS teacher Von Ritchie celebrated his 80th birthday early in December with his photo in the Box Elder News Journal. 

Von was our World Geography, American History and Drivers Ed teacher. 

Photo scanned from 1968 Year Book
We posted a notice on our Facebook Group page and got lots of fond memories of Mr Ritchie. Some are included here and hope others will be added in the comments below. 

"I had Mr Ritchie for Drivers Ed. in 1973"
Kathi Lund Johnston

"I had him for Drivers Ed too! He walks to the temple every week. I didn't realize he was 80! He gets around really well!"
Karen Christensen 

"Sir Richie versus Howard Gittins for Driver's Ed (and I think Beckstead was also in the mix)... "
Scotty TooTall Nielsen

"I remember when I took my driving test. Blew it the first time. Examiner said to make a left turn onto Forrest Street. I made the left turn but came up short and went to the left of the island that was there instead of the right. Passed the second time though. Practiced with dad who took me out west of town. Driving down a dirt rode about 45 MPH ... dad said make a right at an upcoming lane... Missed the lane, went down the side of the road and right through a barbed wire fence. LOL. Dad said I should slow down next time I want to make a turn. Must have learned my lessons... only two accidents ever since and one wasn't my fault. Some kid plowed into my rear end on the 5400 South offramp in Salt Lake .. coming off to fast."
Ray Friess 

"He is a great guy! Boys who had him were told to"keep their pecker in their pants". He would send the girls out while he told them LOL" 
Diane Collmar Zundel 

"Way to go Mr Richie." 
Theresa Hollings

 "Good one Diane! My son's dad must have missed that chat!!"
Theresa Hollings

"Who in the hell can remember? However, I think I had Beckstead now you bring it up."
Joyce Keller 

 "I had Reed Olsen as well."
Monica Madson Harrison

"I had Beckstead for Drivers Ed and Reed Olsen for history I think. I always heard good things about him as a teacher."
Bob Holmes

"Ray, I do remember the driving test. We had a Dodge 3 speed on the column. The examiner said, "stop the car!" I stopped but didn't push in the clutch. The he really wanted me to fail because he wanted me to parallel park on Main in front of the hotel."
Joyce Keller 

"Joyce... I remember the drivers ed car had foot controls on the passenger side. One time when I was driving, teacher said speed up... Apparently I didn't speed up fast enough and he tromped his foot down on the pedal on his side. We sped up. LOL"
Ray Friess 

"He would always tell us stories about all his dates in college and all the things he did to get ready for the date and what they did for the date. He said he dated a different girl every week so that when the right one came along he'd know it right off. And yes, he always told us to keep the tool in the shed! He always had a story for everything!! He was a good teacher, too."
Gale Saunders 

"Wow, I wonder if the district knew they had a counselor in class or the car!"
Joyce Keller 

"I had him for geography."
Debbie Valcarce Meigs 

"I had him for geography. I think he was the original energizee bunny because he wrote notes on the black board and talked so fast I really had to concentrate to keep up with him. My favorite experience with him was when I took driver's ed in night school when I was 28. I didn't take it in high Scool because I didn't see well enough to drive, but I was working as a recreation therapist at Pioneer Nursing home, and our van driver that took us on outings, had a bad heart, so I asked Mr Ritchie if he could teach me to drive so I could get us to help if need be. He said yes so we did the class. Everything went well until he decided that I should take the written test. I reminded him why I was learning to drive and that I couldn't get a licence because of my poor eye sight. We were parked behind the courthouse on first east, just north of Forrest. Mr Ritchie said I could see just fine. After all he'd just ridden with me as I drove to Logan and back. I told him again that I could not pass the eye exam. He asked me, mm"What does that sign on Malmrose say?" I asked him where Malmrose was, and after he told me, I asked what sign. He said, "You really CAN NOT see and I rode through Sardine canyon with you twice!?"
Janis Stanger 

"He was so nice to everyone i really liked him"
Ronda Garrett Hardy 

I didn't know he went to Bear River High
Lois J Craghead Reese 

"Same here Lois! Loved Mr. Ritchie, he was a fantastic teacher."
Boni Bissegger 

"I wasn't a very inspired student through my Elementary-High School years, but there were some teachers that were inspiring (in-spite of myself), and Mr. Ritchie was one of them. I wish him, “From his fair, to Better Health, and many Happy Returns!”
Clyde Westley

 "I too enjoyed Von Richie's class. However, the there's another name in the picture of the paper. I believe that Don Saunders who is turning 90 is Gale, our classmate's dad. He was also my childhood neighbor who I drove to distraction. "Hello Gale and Happy Birthday Mr. Saunders."
Kim Lester 


  1. Never had him as a teacher, but I knew him anyway. I remember him as always very friendly.

  2. He also served a mission for the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints in Nashville Tennessee .. A very dear friend of mine ,named Shirley Lifferth told me he gave her her First Book Of Mormon and was a great missionary .. I know he was a great drivers ed teacher ... I enjoyed taking the class and lessons from him
    Dianne Lane DeLancey

  3. We added this post to a Brigham City site on Facebook and at this time there are nearly 200 likes and well wishing comments posted there. We hope Von Ritchie will get a chance to view our page and tell us the correct spelling of his last name.


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