Courier-Leader & Flashes Obituaries

Obituary: Rusty A. Ritsema

Rusty A. Ritsema passed away at his home, Aug. 27, 2023, after a long battle with cancer. He was born March 3, 1959, in Paw Paw, to Mildred (Compton) Ritsema and the late Benjamin Ritsema.

Rusty graduated from Paw Paw High School in 1977. He owned and operated Ritsema’s Septic Service and worked for the family business, Ritsema & Son’s Excavating. He later went on to work and retired from the Village of Paw Paw.

            Whenever he was not working, you could find him hunting, fishing, or cruising around town. He loved anything that went fast including dune buggies, sand drags, snowmobiles, and ATVs.

            Rusty is survived by his two children, Kristen Ritsema and Dustin (Cara Sanderson) Ritsema; four grandchildren, Skylar (Shyann), Alex, Caylin and Carisa; one great-grandson, Jazpar;  mother, Mildred (Compton) Ritsema; two brothers, Joe (Michelle) and John (Crystal Specht) Ritsema.

            Cremation has taken place. Per Rusty’s wishes there will be no public services. 

            Memorial contributions in memory of Rusty may be made to the American Cancer Society.             Share a memory or sign the online tribute book at

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