June 28, 1944 — May 13, 2014
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Sonja “Sue” Frizzell Whitney, 69, passed away on May 13, 2014, in her daughter’s arms, “her calf.” She was the daughter of Irving and Arlie Frizzell. She was born on June 28, 1944, in Joplin, Mo., and was preceded in death by her parents and only sibling, Jack Frizzell. Sue married Ralph Ritchison of Bedford, Ind., and had two daughters: Kimberly Ritchison Sayre of Placerville and Robin Ritchison De Rosier (Tom Parker) of Placerville. She was “Mimi” to her grandchildren Jamey, Shayna, Amanda and Andrew.
Sue moved to California from Indiana with Kim and Robin to join her parents and settled in Placerville in 1972, where she met the love of her life, Ronald “Ronnie Ray” R. Whitney. She knew instantly she was his “Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” She openly and lovingly became Mom to Warren R. Whitney (Angie) of Burns, Ore., Clare M. Whitney of Placerville and Kerry L. Whitney of Placerville; Grammy to Kelly, Larry, Kayce, Tosha, Tyson, Landon and Bailey; and Great Grammy to Kynoa, Dominique, Jacob, Tatum and Clara. That’s how we became “The Whitney Bunch.” She also had many relatives all over, from here to Missouri, who meant the world to her. She always called them “her people.”
Sue touched so many lives through so many avenues, especially through her life’s calling to work with kids. She worked at Camerado Middle School, Blue Oaks and Rolling Hills and retired after 24 years. Her joy was giving a kid a hug at a time when employees weren’t allowed to. Her response to that was, “Every kid needs a hug, because that might be the only one they get today.” She would rather lose her job then not hug a kid. She was also an “Original Dirty Mother,” Red Hatter and the best spoon player in the world.
A celebration of life was held at the “Hagen Ranch” on May 17, officiated by long-time family friend, Ed Hagen. Family, friends, loved ones and Sue’s extended sons and daughters from her school all gathered to have a party like she wanted. We gathered, told stories, laughed, cried, had chocolate milk and vodka, sang and let off purple, green and blue balloons in her honor and we all looked up and saw a complete rainbow around the sun. You will always be our sunshine, Mama!
We would like to thank the Hagen Family for everything they have done. To honor Sue, the family asks that you pay it forward — do a random act of kindness in her name. In Sue’s words, “Climb that mountain; cross that sea; go for the dreams that make you unique.”
Now rest. We love you.