Hermann Rittler, 90, of Corning, passed away on Monday, December 5, 2022, with his family by his side.
Born on December 4, 1932, in Bietigheim, Germany, he was the son of Herman and Leonie (Schmitt) Rittler.
His family immigrated from Germany to Rochester, N.Y., when Rittler was two years old. After high school, he attended Alfred University, graduating in 1956 with a degree in Ceramic Engineering. He had a successful 45-year career at Corning, Inc. beginning at Fallbrook as a Glass Technologist and retiring as a Senior Research Associate at Sullivan Park in glass composition. Rittler was granted more than 61 U.S. Patents involving glass and ceramic works such as glass-ceramic cooktops, Gorilla Glass, catalytic converters, and other compositions that are used today in everyday items. As a result of these accomplishments, he was made Fellow of The American Ceramic Society.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Patricia, of Corning, N.Y., sons Chris (Elaine) and Robert (Michal), daughter Melanie (Mark) Rittler, grandchildren Matthew Rittler, Alicia Rittler, Rachel Rittler, Kate (Mario) Kast, Lauren Rittler, Heather Rittler, Sloane Petrasek, Max Petrasek, brother Jack (Sharon) Rittler, sister-in-law Carol Rittler, and many nieces and nephews. Rittler was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Alfred, Carl, and Joseph Rittler.
Rittler loved life and enjoyed many different activities. He was an avid tennis player, playing for more than 50 years starting at a young age. He was a member of the Twin Tiers Racquet Club in Big Flats. He also loved flying. Taught by the legendary Joe Costa, he earned his commercial pilot’s license. Owning first a Stinson and then a Cessna 180, he valued his time in the air. Rittler also loved music. His mother wanted him to learn to play the accordion, but he passed that on to his brother Alfred and chose the trumpet instead. He played in the Corning Philharmonic under the direction of Ted Hollenbeck. Rittler’s great uncle Carl introduced him to shooting sports. He became a competitive shooter in multiple disciplines and throughout the years won trophies at the local, regional, state, national and international levels in trapshooting, pistol, and rifle competitions. In addition, Rittler enjoyed woodworking, photography, working out at the Y, skiing, deer and upland bird hunting, and breeding German Shorthair Pointers. He loved learning new things and enthusiastically mastered each.
And last but far from least there are the trees. Turning an eighty-acre field into a tree farm became a family affair. He recreated his own “Black Forest” in Caton.
“Herm Quality” has a very special meaning: Be the best, do your best, and know you have all done all you can and be happy with yourself.
Rittler’s greatest joy was his family. He will be missed by all.