Lynne Darlene Ritter

January 21, 1954 to February 20, 2018

Some may also know her as Lynne Morante or by her maiden name Lynne Thorpe. Lynne was born on January 21, 1954. She was the youngest of three children: David, Donna and then Lynne. Born into a rather confusing situation her life was challenging from the very start.

After nearly three years with her older siblings she became an only child when her mother Betty left her older siblings with their natural father and began a new phase of her life.

Lynne found a way to make the best out of her often- times chaotic life. She felt a sense that she was important to God at a very young age. Though she did not know the details of just how much God did love her, she knew without a doubt that He did.

Lynne was an introvert with a shy demeanor but made friends easily. Once you got to know her and she felt at ease with you she would begin to share a depth of soul that was truly amazing.  And her loyalty as a friend was like no other. She had an inner strength that others could see and feel.

She perfected the art of friendship. She loved giving.  She also perfected the art of gift giving.  She poured herself into others. She gave from the depths of her being. She loved being a friend to anyone that would be open enough to share themselves with her.

Lynne had a little slice of normal when she lived on Whelan Drive. She made many life-long friendships there and remained in contact with many of them her whole life. But, as with any fairy tale story often- times your little slice of normal becomes shattered.  At thirteen her mother left her with the only father she had ever known, which she later found to be related only by marriage.

She once again picked up the shards of glass that were her life and made the best out of a bad situation.  She met some more life long friends and started to blossom into the beautiful young lady that caught the eyes of many young men.

It was at this time in her life that her step Dad Ray had met a woman who had four children of her own.  Now the oldest, she had to navigate the tricky waters of a blended family.  And once again she had to search for normal, and that is what she always did.  And she did it well.

She then met a young man at one of her friends’ house.  His name was Robin Morante. Robin and Lynne started a young romance and though her home life was once again chaotic, Lynne found a way to try to make the best of things.  That is what she always did. And she did it well.

Robin and Lynne were soon married and began their lives together.  It was at this time when Lynne felt a deep spiritual yearning inside herself.  After much searching she made a decision to become a born- again Christian.  She began a life-long pursuit of the God of the bible.  And she made bible study a daily discipline.

In 1974 Lynne gave birth to her first-born son Justin.  She was her happiest when she had a baby in her loving arms.  She loved babies and they loved her.  She had an intuitive knack for knowing what they needed. Her soft and lilting voice and her natural and nurturing way with an infant was a gift she had her whole life.

In 1980 Lynne had her second son, Jared. She was an attentive and wise mother, always assuring her first born son that she loved him just as much as her new born baby.  She taught Justin how to be the big brother and nurtured them both with her loving and attentive ways. She taught them about God and read bible stories planting the seeds of faith very early in their lives.  She sewed them matching outfits and poured her very soul into every aspect of their lives.  She loved them for their uniqueness and taught them how to be confident in themselves. She encouraged them to explore their worlds and entered in to whatever excited them. From baseball to trains and dinosaurs Lynne was there with her love and support.  She found joy in seeing her children happy and did whatever she could to make them so.  She became the family historian by taking pictures, audio recordings and video tapes of all her children throughout their lives. If a picture paints a thousand words, then Lynne had painted millions of words over the course of her life.

In 1987 Lynne delivered another bundle of joy.  This time a precious little girl, Kelsey.  Now Lynne’s mothering blossomed into a new and exciting role of bows and bonnets and dresses and shoes and the combing, braiding and styling of a little girl’s hair.  Kelsey could play as hard as her two brothers, but she insisted on doing so in all things pretty.  Lynne was more than happy to oblige.  The boys insisted that Kelsey was favored above them, but Lynne was very careful to be attentive to the needs of all her children.

In 1989 Lynne’s world came crashing down yet again. The divorce was another time when Lynne was forced to pick up the shards of glass, mend them the best she could and continue to function as best as she could muster. She cried out to the Lord and He provided shelter from the raging storm going on inside her broken mother’s heart.  It pained her to see her children hurting, but she continued to be there for them all, in the best ways she could.  God’s people filled in the gap and provided comfort, companionship, and friendship to Lynne and her kids.

In 1991 the Lord brought Lynne and Bob together after a two-year relationship that started with Bob’s love for Justin, Jared and Kelsey.  A romance based on friendship, fellowship and a mutual love for these three wonderful children started a new chapter in Lynne’s life.

As time passed Lynne’s role of the attentive mother changed.  The children grew up, went to college, moved out, got married and started families of their own.  It was a difficult time for Lynne as the nest became emptied of her progeny. She found her joy in nature which is where she communed with God.  She tried to capture little glimpses of heaven in photographs, but even they could not convey the depth of richness and fulfillment nature brought to Lynne’s heart. Bob enjoyed these times in nature with her as well.  They hiked many trails and fell in love with Yosemite.  They had many trips to the mountains, the ocean and on rare occasions the desert.

On January 12 of 2013 Lynne witnessed the birth of her first grandson, Elvis. Her heart once again filled with the love of holding, kissing and nurturing her brand- new grandbaby.  Joy filled her heart as she once again poured herself into all things Grandma.  She reveled in seeing him, holding him close, feeding him, bathing him.  She read to him and prayed for him. She loved him dearly. When she was out she was always looking for something for Elvis. Being a good Grandma came as natural as her mothering.  She did it well.

With more time to herself, Lynne began to pursue art in various forms.  She also began to add to her impressive collection of momentos from the Lord.  She has rocks, shells, sea glass, antlers, pottery and photographs.  She started making cards for various occasions and had many people interested in obtaining one of these beautiful pieces of art. Her life was full and made even fuller when she received a visit from Elvis.  Her face and his lit up as they saw one another.

Lynne’s biggest challenge and fear became one on Christmas Day in 2015.  A devastating diagnosis of a rare and debilitating form of cancer called multiple myeloma.  It had already destroyed her kidneys and was slowly affecting every part of her body.  Every effort was made to save her kidneys, but they could not be saved. So, the battle began on two fronts: cancer and kidney disease.  Lynne started on dialysis during her first of many hospitalizations.  She was on hemodialysis for 10 months and peritoneal dialysis for just shy of a year and a half.  To say this was life changing would be the understatement of the century.  It altered EVERYTHING. Everything now revolved around her diet, and her treatments.  For nine hours per week she was tethered to a chair and a machine that would clean her blood and allow her to live.  After the ten months of hemodialysis she was tethered to a machine for nine hours each and every night.  Though she struggled with this treatment, it gave her an independence and a sense of control over her life.  It also allowed her to eat some of the foods she so enjoyed eating without the dietary restrictions. There were lab tests and Doctors and food restrictions and medications to help her body deal with this devastating disease.  And then came the chemotherapy drugs.  Many of which listed death as a potential side effect.  In fact, all of them did.  There were many tears shed in each other’s arms, before, during and after each treatment.

Lynne did not want to be identified as: THE ONE WHO HAS CANCER. So, she lived her life, to the fullest extent possible.  She even asked her Doctor “when can I climb Half Dome?”.  She wanted to search for normal once again.  That is what she did.  And she did it well.

Lynne wanted to live her life on HER terms and not let her illness define her.  She struggled and fought every step along the way.  And, in spite of her debilitating illness rarely, if ever, complained about anything.  She met each day with a positive spirit.  She continued to do those things she loved to do:  walk in nature, walk on the beach, search for sea glass and shells, hunt for deer shed antlers, and enjoy her family and friends.  She touched more people than she will ever know through her quiet and gentle spirit and her inner strength that only the Lord can bestow on anyone.  That is what she did. And she did it well.

During her last days the Lord graciously took away the pain and Lynne was able to spend a lot of time with her family and close friends.  She was ushered into the Lord’s presence surrounded by those she loved and those who loved her.  One of her Doctors said “she loved, and she WAS loved”. That is what she did.  And she did it well.