Scott Alan Ritchie died on January 7, 2023, at the St. Therese at St. Odilia Hospice in Shoreview, Minnesota. He was 78 years old at the time of his death. The cause of death was an inoperable brain cancer diagnosed less than six months ago.
For most of Scott’s 78 years of life—48 years in fact—his constant companion and lover was Gary Grefenberg. Through four residences, four canine companions, the deaths of both sets of parents, and thirty years of gay and neighborhood activism, Scott was the anchor and lodestar of the Ritchie/Grefenberg family.
Scott graduated from Canton High School as class valedictorian in 1962. He received his college degree in European History from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1966. He earned his master’s in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. For most of his professional life, Scott was a social worker at Hennepin County. In a mid-life career change, he went to law school at the University of Minnesota. After passing the bar exam, he worked at West Publishing as a legal editor from which he retired in 2006.
Scott and Gary shared a love of history; thus, they traveled to Paris twice, the Scottish Highlands, English cathedrals, the Loire Valley in France, the WWII Normandy beachheads, and Cornwall and Devon in the English countryside. He also enjoyed time spent at Gary’s parents’ cabin on Lake Vermilion. Scott also shared in making history by accompanying Gary when he attended the 1980 Democratic National Convention as the first openly gay delegate from Minnesota. Scott will be remembered for his honest and genuine nature, his brilliance, and his steadfast companionship.
Scott was preceded in death by his father, George and mother, Geraldine, among other relatives and friends. He is survived by his chosen family including Gary, his life partner; Susan Miller, a former colleague and loyal and persistent friend; Sheila and Lee Anderson, next-door neighbors and trusted caregivers to Scott during the last six months of his journey; and Rusty, his Irish Terrier who, like all Irish, is loyal but never subjugated.
Scott is also survived by family outside the Twin Cities area, including his sister, Becky Grischow of Canton Ohio; niece, Natasha Glotzbach of Florida and her two young daughters; nephew Joshua Grischow of Columbus, Ohio; Uncle Malcom Ritchie also of Columbus; and dear cousins Ian Ritchie of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Beverly White of Vancouver, Washington. Scott also leaves behind special friends Mary Liz Neustel of West Saint Paul and June McFarland of Columbus, Ohio.
Memorial service will take place on Wed., Jan. 18 at 12:00 pm at the Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center, 4600 Greenhaven Dr., White Bear Township, with an opportunity to meet family 30 minutes prior to the service.
Donations may be made in Scott’s name to the charity of donor’s choice working toward equality.