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Ray Rettger

September 3, 1958 - May 3, 2013

Ray Rettger


Ray Rettger, a well loved player of the banjo has passed away. Ray began his journey at BOTMA as a regular in the Jamming Workshop and grew as a player and mentor for other players. His friendly smile will be missed.

His Obituary is as follows:

Raymond R. Rettger, 54, of 101 North Mill Street, Ridgway, passed away unexpectedly Friday, May 3, 2013, at his residence.

He was born September 3, 1958 in St. Marys, son of the late Charles J. and Edith Squires Rettger. He had lived in Lakewood, NJ for many years and returned to the area two years ago. He was a graduate of St. Marys High School.

He is survived by two brothers, James Rettger and his wife Cheryl of Kersey, David Rettger and his wife Judith of Wilcox; and his sister-in-law, Donna Rettger and her family of Kersey.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Lavern “Buck” Rettger and, in infancy, Mark Rettger.

Mr. Rettger enjoyed model railroading, playing his guitar and banjo, and Blue Grass music.

There will be no visitation.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated in the Sacred Heart Church on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at 10:00 AM with the Rev. Eric Vogt, OSB, Pastor, officiating. Burial will be in the McKean County Memorial Park.

Heidi Olsen had this to say about Ray:

We in the bluegrass community are going to really miss Ray. I first met him when he joined the Jamming Workshop at the Bluegrass & Old Time Music Association of New Jersey. He had been a guitar player for many years, but had recently picked up the banjo and wanted to learn more. He practiced diligently and became a good banjo picker. He started as a student, and quickly became a friend. We played a lot of bluegrass music together. One particularly fun time was when a group of us got together and played at the open house for the fire engine company he worked at. That was a really fun day. We also attended many jams, concerts and other musical events together.

His signature song was "Bury Me Beneath The Willow." Ever since he moved back home, every time I've heard that song, I have thought of Ray. And the beauty is, we're actually doing it on-stage in May with the current crop of Jamming Workshop pickers. This performance will be in memory of him. So Ray, enjoy your time singing and picking in the Angel Band. Say hi to Bill and Earl for me. Until we meet again, my friend!


Ray Rettger


Ray Rettger


Ray Rettger


Ray Rettger