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This winter, you may notice an omnipresent skier missing from the slopes. Warren Ritchie, a long-time Holimont member and a former Treasurer, passed away a few weeks after the above photo was taken. He got the timing right…at 85, he died before he got old. Before the stroke that took his life, he was regularly catching first tracks, and he was excited about his upcoming trip to Whistler. Skiing took a backseat only to family in what made him happiest.

Warren is pre-deceased by his wife, Glenna, who died of cancer in 2017, and who shared his deep attachment to Ellicottville.
Warren Obit
Glenna Obit

While at the Ellicottville Inn in 1961, Warren and Glenna received a chance invitation to a party featuring Manhattans and Martinis. That fateful evening ensured their future winters would be spent in E’ville and not Collingwood.

Originally joining The Ellicottville Ski Club (a membership they still enjoyed, socially, well into their 80s), they switched to Holimont in its second year. In Glenna’s words: “In 1965, we decided to join the new club, Holimont, as all hills ended at the clubhouse. People seemed to know one another’s children, and every weekend was great fun. When we first joined, there was a gravel floor, a free-standing fire pit towards the back, and at night the snowcats were parked inside. Basic, but loads of fun.”

Thus followed decades of great skiing, good times and enduring friendships for Glenna, Warren, and their three kids. Two of their five grandchildren, Bridget and Libby Byers, carry on the Holimont tradition.

It seems only fitting that a celebration of their life takes place at Holimont. To commemorate that first lively weekend in E’ville almost 6 decades ago, The Ritchies (Kelly, Stewart, Julie, and their families) will be hosting a party on October 7. There will be a Dixieland Band playing, snacks and drinks—Manhattan and Martini bowls—on hand, and plenty of memories to be shared. Be warned: like the apres ski parties that brought our parents so much pleasure, whisky sours may be served from a toilet bowl 🙂

If you knew Warren and Glenna and would like to raise a glass in their honour, please contact Julie Ritchie (julie@amillionmatches.com) before September 15 to be added to the invite list. And if you are inclined, we would love to hear stories of how Warren and/or Glenna touched your life.

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