Joanne Marie (Ritchie) Leiter

April 10, 1943April 6, 2020

Joanne Marie Leiter, 76, of Grottoes, passed away Monday, April 6, 2020, at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg. She was born in Annandale on April 10, 1943, and was a daughter of the late Miller H. Ritchie and Edith E. (Dawson) Ritchie.

Joanne was a special education assistant for Rockingham County Public Schools for 26 years.

Joanne was loved by all for her outrageously silly personality. She loved playing games, whether it was a card game or an April Fool’s prank on someone. She was full of life.

She is survived by her brother, Melvin H. Ritchie of Luray, three daughters; Sherrie Holloway and husband Kenny, of Grottoes; Edie Mellick and partner Frank Swink, of Grottoes, and Tammy Balser and husband Phil, of Staunton.

She had 7 grandchildren: Kevin Holloway, Heather Mauzy and partner Charlie Flippin, Bethany Perez, Kelly Roche and husband Jarret, Matt Balser, Tim Weaver, Jr. and partner Nicole Leavell, and LaTisha Gregory and husband Josh.

Joanne adored her great-grandchildren: HarLee, Camden, Gabe, Jaydrin, Maddox, Aubrey, Nakiyah, Lux, Romeo “Cubby”, Brielle, and Brantley. She has one great-grandson on the way.

Joanne felt especially close to Terri Knicely, April Good-Helms, Tiffany Dinges, Patsy Hoover and partner Tammy Losh.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.


  • A Celebration of Life to be held at a later date.


Joanne Marie (Ritchie) Leiter

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carol Felton-Pence

February 19, 2021

I am just seeing the message from Sherrie that Joanne has passed on. And I am very sad to hear it. What a wonderful, unique, funny and giving person she was. I was fortunate to teach with her and thanks to her skills and giving spirit those preschoolers got a good education. Goodbye Dear Joanne. I wish I had kept in better touch, Dear.

Barbara Moyer

April 8, 2020

Words cannot capture Joanne’s spunk and quick wit because she was truly indescribable! She had a unique ability to see through any “dumbness” and cut right to what was important in any situation and she’d address it with honesty and sincerity...and often times with humor. Joanne always looked out for the best interest of the students at school and fought for them without anything standing in her way. Her love and protective spirit brought out her passion and faith that she wasn’t just doing her “job” —but God gave her the ability to look out for these kids and by “God” she was going to do just that. I was so blessed to have worked with her and been loved by her just like I was one of “her girls” and I’ll always be thankful for that opportunity! I’m sending my love to everyone in the family! 💕💗💕💗💕💗💕💗💕💗
Love you all dearly. Barbara Moyer

Susan Huffman

April 7, 2020

My deepest sympathy to each and everyone of you. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. I met your mom, grandma and great grandma at Pleasant Valley Elementary when my oldest son went to PVES she was his classroom assistant and driver. That was thirty five years ago though we didn’t keep in touch she was always in my heart because of the skill and kindness she shared with the children and parents. I will never forget those two years in that classroom and the love and caring she showed to everyone You will always have your memories and she will always be in your heart
Susan Huffman
Parent of student at PVES and friend

Roger Stickley

April 7, 2020

Joann will always live in my memory as being a kind hearted loving lady that always put other first . she knew first hand what it was like to always lend a helping hand with a smile on her face didnt matter what type of day she was having . she also knew how to make people smile she could take a joke and tell a joke that would make you laugh for days. I use to love sitting beside her in church with her family by her side. never a dull moment with them around . sure going to miss her commenting on my post her smile and her laughter may God guide her children and give them the stength to carry on. Rip Sweet Angel I know you danced your way into Heaven

Julie Ritchie

April 7, 2020

I will never forget my Aunt Joanne! She was always there for me when I was growing up! No matter what mom and dad said she would always give in. One of my favorite memories is sitting in the living room eating popcorn and watching the movie The Toy! I will never forget the special bond we had being her 1 and only niece! I love you Maw gone but never forgotten!