Arlene Marie (Demarest) Ritter, 107, of Johnson,  was born to Elmer Claude and Ella May (Clark) Demarest on July 22, 1910, at the family home west of Brock. She attended Grant Country School and graduated from Talmage High School with the class of 1929. On Dec. 18, 1932, Arlene married Herbert “Dick” M.J. Ritter and proudly added farm wife to her list of talents as an artist, seamstress, gardener, and cook. Arlene and her husband raised four daughters. Herbert passed away Feb. 13, 1966. Arlene continued to live independently in the family home she designed on the farm until late 2013. At that time, she moved in with her daughter and lived there to the time of her death.

Arlene remained active in her church serving in the children’s and women's ministries and Sunday school, in her school district serving on the school board at the time of the Johnson-Brock merger, and in her community serving as the brainchild for the founding of the local newspaper the Brock Bugle.

Over the course of her 107 years, Arlene experienced countless, remarkable events. Other highlights include attending a Husker football game at age 104 (meeting our current Governor Pete Ricketts, Lt. Governor Mike Foley and Larry the Cable Guy were added bonuses of the day) and cheering on Johnson-Brock and Husker volleyball, basketball, and football teams. Attending the Johnson-Brock Senior Citizen’s Prom was a favorite of hers. Arlene enjoyed the daily phone calls with the National Honor Society students, completing the newspaper’s word jumble each day, Sudoku, and keeping up with the changes in agriculture.

Family was very important to her. She thrived on being in the midst of all the action in the home. Doting on her grandchildren, great grands, and great-great grands as well as attending their various activities were some of her favorite pastimes. Arlene had a servant’s heart and was typically found in her garden, in her kitchen baking and cooking, or in her chair with a thread and needle in hand.

Arlene’s faith and personal relationship with Jesus Christ was the driving force of her life. Her desire was for all to know Him personally. Being a fierce prayer warrior, Arlene took requests to the feet of Jesus. Arlene made an imprint in the lives of many people, and she will be dearly missed. Fortunately, her Godly legacy continues. Her favorite bible verse to live by was Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  A good understanding have all they that do his commandments; his praise endureth forever.

Arlene went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in rural Johnson, Nebraska having reached the earthly age of 107 years, 7 months, and 12 days. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Herbert “Dick” M.J. Ritter, and brothers Harry and Frank Demarest. 

Arlene is survived by her daughters: Claudia Strand of Sun City West, Ariz.; Connie Kemling of Lincoln; Linda “Cookie” (Gary) Schmucker of Brock; and Susan (Ronald) Meyer of Johnson; 11 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren; 10 great-great grandchildren; and many relatives and many friends.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the Auburn Berean Church in Auburn with Pastor Kent Clark officiating.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday, March 9, 2018, at The Hall Funeral Chapel in Auburn.  Family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m. at the mortuary.

Interment will be at the Grant Evergreen Cemetery in rural Talmage.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Johnson-Brock School Foundation or to family’s choice with a later designation.

Online messages of condolence can be shared at

Services are entrusted to Hall Funeral Chapel-707 15th ST.-Auburn, NE 68305