James M. Ritvo, Class of 1964
We certainly remember Jim as the organizer of the fine arts exam cramming session, and the crafty temporary owner of the Milton flag, but many of us may not know as much about Jim’s life after graduation from Nobles.
Mike Wiggins has provided the following remembrance, mixing his own recollections with information extracted from on Jim’s obit on legacy.com which you can find here.
“The obituary describes how in his adult life Jim was a true lifter of all boats, connecting people of multiple backgrounds and faiths and classes in both his professional life and as a supporter of non-profit causes on behalf of the disadvantaged. He was known at one and the same time as the “mensch of Montpelier” and “St. Jim of Vermont”, which demonstrates how ecumenical he was.
Those of us who saw it were strongly impressed with the documentary film he put together about a young couple who adopted an Ethiopian girl. I haven’t seen the other significant documentaries mentioned in the obit, including the Red Wagon:Facing Hunger and the Holes in the Health Care Safety Net.
I didn’t remember until now or simply never knew that when he was a teenager he went to one of the civil rights marches in Selma with his mother Mikki, who herself was one of the most selfless, other directed persons you’d ever want to meet. [I was lucky enough to meet her about 30 years ago at a boundary crossing Human Interaction Lab that she was directing in Bethel, Maine.] Check out her own obit here.
In addition to the gregarious Jim we all knew and loved at Nobles, he was the sort of fellow in adult life whom, if you were instructing your manservant (Uber driver?) to go to the station to pick him up, you might describe as being “of average height, a bit on the round side, helping someone”, a la the ETP story.”
Update (July 2021):
Here is a collection of photos kindly provided by Marjorie Ritvo, Jim’s widow.
Jim post Nobles:
Senior year captures of Jim at Nobles (1964):
And here’s a collection from our 1964 classbook