Lorayne M. Ritt
July 22, 1933 — Aug. 24, 2017

Lorayne M. Ritt passed away on Thursday, August 24, 2017, of natural causes. She was 84. A lifelong Town of Waukesha resident, she wrote a weekly column, “Close to Home,” for 35 years before retiring in 2014. She first worked for the Waukesha Freeman and later for the Journal Sentinel and its suburban partners, NOW Newspapers and the Lake Country Publications.

Her columns centered on the city’s history and Waukesha County nonprofits. A collection of her columns was published in book form in 1988. She loved writing about nonprofits and bringing to light the people dedicated to them and their mission.

A Waukesha High School graduate, Lorayne earned a bachelor’s in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education and her master’s as a reading specialist from UW-Milwaukee. She taught English at Whitewater High School and reading in Elkhorn for many years before she became a columnist.

She also loved — and remembers much about — Waukesha’s history and was a past member of The Waukesha 1934 Club.

She is survived by her son, Steven (Karla) Ritt of Oconomowoc; daughter, Julie (Mario) Scarpace of Mukwonago; grandchildren, Cassandra and Spencer Ritt and Kirstin Scarpace; and many other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, August 29, at Church and Chapel Funeral Home, 380 Bluemound Road (at highways J and JJ, four blocks south of Interstate 94), Waukesha, from 1 p.m. until the funeral service at 2:30 p.m. Private interment will be at Prairie Home Cemetery, Waukesha.

Church and Chapel Rudolph-Larsen Bros. Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 262-549-0659 or visit to view the online obituary, leave condolences or receive directions.