The Rev. Dr. Rebecca (Becky) Balenger Smith Ritchey (MDiv’92),
69, passed away January 12, 2014 in Winchester, Va. Born in Berkeley County, W.V., Becky graduated from Musselman High School in Bunker Hill, W.V., and from the Presbyterian School of Nursing in Charlotte, N.C. She served as a nurse with The Mission Board of the Presbyterian Church in Chunju, South Korea at the Jesus Hospital from 1968-1977. After returning to the states, she married the Rev. Fred Smith and they moved to Georgia where she taught Health Occupations in a local high school until his death. Following his death she felt called to attend Louisville Seminary in Louisville, Ky., where she earned an MDiv in 1992. While attending Seminary, she met and married James G. Ritchey and upon graduation she began working on her Doctor of Ministry at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Becky served as interim director of Continuing and Lay Education at Louisville Seminary from 1999-2001. She was instrumental in the development of the Seminary’s Spiritual Direction Program, and served as one of its directors until 2009. Upon completion of her DMin, she returned to South Korea and taught at Honam Theological Seminary in Kwangu from 2009-2013. She also taught English as a second language and helped start a spiritual direction training program which was believed to be the first in South Korea. Becky was honored in May 2012 as a recipient of the Bunker Hill-Musselman High School Alumni Award. She returned stateside to Bunker Hill in March of 2013.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held in early April with details to follow.
Memorial contributions may be sent to: The Outreach Foundation
(which supports mission into North Korea), 381 Riverside Dr., Suite 110, Franklin, Tenn., 37064, or the Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 660, Bunker Hill, W.V., 25413.