• Bradbury Memorial Center Staff

Donald Bruce Rittmiller

Updated: Apr 12

November 30, 1952 to April 4, 2021

On April 4, 2021 Donald (Don) Rittmiller passed away peacefully at his home in Lake Havasu City, Arizona with his family at his side.

Don was born on November 30, 1952 in Pomona, California. At birth Don had severe asthma; as a result of numerous hospitalizations due to his asthma, Don contracted Polio. In 1960 the family moved to Palm Desert, CA because the climate was good for Don’s asthma and the healing waters at Angel View in Desert Hot Springs treated the polio. Don had many great memories of days in Palm Desert spent playing and exploring the sand dunes and date orchards. The family ultimately settled in Yucca Valley where Don also had many great memories of riding his motorcycle in the desert.

Don joined the Navy in 1970 and was stationed on the aircraft carrier Intrepid, which gave him the opportunity to see the world. After he was discharged from the Navy, Don settled in Yucca Valley with his first wife and their two children, Donnie and Kristy. During this time Don became an electrical apprentice where he began to develop his excellent skills as an electrician.

In 1983 Don met his second wife Sharon; they were married on New Year’s Eve in 1985. Together they had one daughter, Marcella. In 1992 Don began his career at BergElectric Corp and remained with the company for 28 years; retiring in 2020.

Don was known as a man who could fix anything. In most situations, where many had tried and failed to fix something, Don would show up and have whatever it was up and running in no time. His knowledge and perseverance are what made him an asset on any job site he managed. Don was a mentor to many young electricians who truly appreciated learning from the best. He was a man of few words, he said what he meant and meant what he said. He was also a generous man who would help anyone in need in any way that he could. He loved with his whole heart.

Don and Sharon both loved Christmas and liked nothing more than to make their home “magical” for their children, grandchildren and passersby. Don would decorate the outside with thousands of lights, working in the cold so as not to disappoint anyone. He would build a “candy cane lane” walkway in the yard with candy canes he made out of pipe, spray paint and electrical tape. Many “looky loos” would stop by to see the beautiful display each year. Don loved knowing he was giving pleasure to many and helping to enhance their holiday season.

As a child Don learned to water ski and fell in love with the sport; as well as with Lake Havasu. His entire family skied and spent many wonderful, sun soaked days on Lake Havasu. Don loved to teach his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends to water sky. He had infinite patience while driving the boat as they learned to ski and was very excited when they “got up.” Family was the most important thing in Don’s life; everything he did was for their betterment. Nothing made him happier than watching his grandchildren enjoying time on the boat or wave runners at his beloved Lake Havasu. Don’s wife Sharon shared his great love for Lake Havasu. For many years they maintained a vacation spot and could be found at the Lake as often as possible. In 2020 they realized their dream of retiring and buying a home on the shores of the Lake they love; where they enjoyed watching many amazing sunsets from their deck.

Don is survived by Sharon, his wife of 35 years, his devoted dog Bubba, daughter Marcella Rittmiller, son-in-law Christopher Black, son Luis Barragan, daughter-in-law Allison Barragan, grandchildren Joakim, Jocelyn, Brodie, Christopher and Olivia, sister Susan Ramos, brother Mike Rittmiller and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents Donald and Betty Rittmiller.

Don elected to be cremated. The scattering of his ashes in his favorite cove on Lake Havasu will be private. However, if you want to honor his memory, watch a sunset, spend time with your family, go fishing, and/or drink a beer.