Donald William Ritter, 83, of Newport, Rhode Island and Harbour Island, Bahamas, passed away on February 15,, 2017. Donald was the son of Herbert R. and Meta H. Ritter and was raised in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

He attended Choate and graduated from Trinity College, Hartford. He was a member of the Newport Reading Room, Spouting Rock Beach Association, and the Clambake Club. He was also a former member of Baltusrol and the Bay Head Yacht Club.

Mr. Ritter was the president and owner of Ritter Transportation of New Jersey, founded by his father in 1928. He sold the company in the 1980s and retired to Rhode Island and the Bahamas.

Don had a long and successful racing career with both sailing and powerboats. Some of his most remarkable events in the sport were winning the 1978 Newport-to-Bermuda Race and setting a Marblehead to Halifax race record that stood for ten years.

He is survived by his beloved daughters Nina, Maria, Wesley and Julia Ritter, and his grandchildren, Morgan, Britta, Tristan Ritter- Armour, and Belle. He is also survived by his long-term partner of sixteen years, Stephanie Forstmann of Newport and New York City.

Visiting hours to be held Tuesday, February 21, 2017, from 4-7 PM, at Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, RI.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Potter League in Middletown or the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County would be appreciated.

Additionally, there will be a memorial to celebrate the Life of Don this summer, 2017; place and time to be announced.

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to