OCEAN RIDGE — Theodore “Ted” Charles Ritota of Ocean Ridge died April 24 at Bethesda Hospital East in Boynton Beach, where he was in hospice care after suffering an intracerebral hemorrhage. He was 67.
10463500654?profile=RESIZE_180x180Ted Ritota was born Oct. 18, 1954, at Columbia Hospital in South Orange, New Jersey, to John Patrick and Dolores Anita (Cirillo) Ritota Sr.
Growing up, Ted attended Our Lady of Sorrows and Newark Academy schools, graduating from Columbia High School in South Orange. Attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, he developed a lifelong connection to the snow-covered mountains and love of skiing. His senior year of college had him and his best friend, John Kimmel, with a pretty empty schedule, which in turn made it possible for them to go skiing for days on end. These were to be some of the best years of his youth.
His next step was attending Fairleigh Dickinson Dental School in New Jersey.
His love of sailing led him — and his brother, John Ritota Jr. — to South Florida to set up a dental practice, Delray Dental. They were in their 43rd year of practice.
The brothers were best friends — not only as partners in Delray Dental, but also enjoying fishing, golfing, vacationing and sporting events together.
In 1987, Ted bought his home in Ocean Ridge where he and his wife, Lisa, raised three daughters who always made him proud. Along with his other passions, Dr. Ritota loved the town of Ocean Ridge and Ocean Ridge loved him.
Growing up, Ted’s family had a vacation home on the Jersey Shore in Deal where he spent all of his summers. This is where he would make some lifelong friends and memories. He was an avid sailor of Hobie Cats from a young age and continued with this when he moved to Florida, spending most weekends taking his children and wife out for joyrides up and down the coast, snorkeling off the boat or just cruising. It was truly his happy place.
If the conditions weren’t right for sailing, you could find him sitting at the beach reading the latest Stuart Woods book while listening to the Beatles, Grateful Dead or Springsteen.
Dr. Ritota’s other passion of snow skiing, in particular helicopter skiing in British Columbia, Canada, led him to meet the love of his life, Australia native Lisa Marshall.
He would propose to her in 14 days, marry in 11 months in Australia and, for the next 31 years, build his life with her in Ocean Ridge.
Lisa always said that when she first laid eyes on her “Teddy” all those years ago, it was his beautiful smile and dark brown eyes that caught her eye. His deep American accent helped a little bit, too.
Heli-skiing remained a big part of the couple’s life. Dr. Ritota would go on to become an integral part of Canadian Mountain Holidays. Annually Dr. Ritota took 100 or more physicians and dentists to Canada for continuing education while enjoying the great outdoors. He made these trips for over 30 years. He was also working on his next CMH million-foot suit, having already earned eight — a huge accomplishment.
To those who knew Ted, his sense of humor was infectious. A life-of-the-party guy, with a big smile, he was a lover of good food — his favorite being Italian. He treated others to his special homemade red sauce and hot pepper sauce, which were fabulous. People couldn’t help but love him.
The couple celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary in February. They had just returned from an “empty nest” ski trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a week before his passing. It was one of the best trips they’d ever had.
Dr. Ritota is survived by his wife, Lisa; daughters Brianna (partner, Ivan) of Australia, and Vanessa and Giorgina of Ocean Ridge; mother, Dolores Ritota of Boynton Beach; brother, John (June) Ritota of Delray Beach; sister, Dee Ritota of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and nieces Olivia Ritota, Kaylah Gittleman and Shayna Gittleman. He was preceded in death by his father, John Ritota Sr.
Ted was a wonderful son, husband, father, brother, brother-in-law and uncle to all his family and a friend to many. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
A celebration of Dr. Ritota’s life will be held at the Ritota home on Sunday, May 15 at 5 p.m.

— Obituary submitted by the family

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