Dave and Joy Rittersbacher resided in Council, Idaho for 21 years of their 58 year marriage. They had 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. They were beloved by all in the community and in Heartland Back Country Horsemen – they were members for many years. They helped on many HBCH projects through the years. Dave was a veteran of the 82nd Airborne and a 30 year US Forest Service Employee and a 2012 Olympic Torchbearer. Joy delighted in her role of wife, mother and overall caretaker of their little ranch, Llama Joy. She was one of the best cooks and was the most gracious hostess ever! When they discovered llamas they bought a herd of 60, and established LLama Joy in Council. They took their llamas everywhere- on the trail, to the fair where they gave kids rides and they always were willing to help horse owners get their horses used to these strange but beautiful animals. Llamas were popular as pack animals in the forest because they could carry heavy packs, and left little damage to a trail because of their hoof type. Dave and Joy served in various community leadership positions in the Chamber of Commerce, Council Community Church, Council 4H, HBCH, and helped out the Adams County Fair. They loved animals- not only llamas, but horses, mules, alpacas, burros, cats and dogs- all of which they had at one time or another at their little ranch. Both of them were lovers of their Lord Jesus Christ, the people of Council, members of Back Country Horsemen, Forest users and Forest Service. If there was a job in the forest to be done right, Dave was the man to call on and Joy would provide the most delicious meal for everyone! Dave was born June 9, 1934, Joy November 12, 1935. They passed away together when their car went gently off the road then down a steep bank where the impact took their lives. There was no evidence of suffering, they died side by side together. They had been in McCall for Joy to have a medical test, then they had a delightful lunch with Pastor Wayne, Pastor Les and friends Pete and Elaine. The Funeral service and Life Celebration was held at the Council Community Church with Pastor Wayne presiding. All four of their children were there as well as several grandchildren. Many stories were told of their lives, bringing smiles and tears to everyone. If was indeed a grand celebration of their lives! The room was filled with friends and family members. Dave was given a 3 gun military salute and the US flag was unfurled and held in front of the alter to honor his service in the 82nd Airborne. They will be missed by all, but remembered as the true beloved friends they were- now looking down from Heaven on the work we will do on the trails they loved.
Submitted by Helen Glidden