Stillwater News Press


February 26, 2013

Elmona Marie (Ritter) Potts

Elmona Marie (Ritter) Potts, 79, of Stillwater passed from this life on Feb. 24, 2013 following complications from chemotherapy treatments.  With her family by her side, she quietly slipped from life on Earth into the loving arms of Our Father in Heaven. Services have been entrusted to the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home and will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the Palmer Marler Funeral Home Chapel at 5106 N. Washington, Stillwater, OK.  Public visitation will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday and from 8 a.m.  to 8 p.m. Thursday. The family will greet friends on from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Elmona Marie Ritter was born on Feb. 5, 1934, in Ripley, to Elmer Milton Ritter and Mona June (Lewis) Ritter. She grew up in Payne County, attending schools at Ripley, Eureka and Quay, before transferring to Yale High School for her senior year.  In 1952, she graduated from Yale High School. Following graduation she went to work as a Yale telephone switchboard operator for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. In 1953, she married John Paul Potts; and in 1954 they moved Clinton, where she was a homemaker and started her family. ,In 1956, the couple moved back to Payne County, eventually settling in Yale.  

In 1960, Elmona began a long and successful career selling Tupperware. During 20-plus years with the company, she won many sales awards and she was a top Tupperware dealer in Oklahoma for several years. She also made several trips to National Tupperware Conventions. On Dec. 3, 1985, Paul Potts passed away and Elmona started her second career as an account payable clerk at Frontier Engineering in Stillwater. In 1990, she met Ralph Summers of Silver City, and was married in Albuquerque, N.M.  Ralph passed away in 1996; and, in 1999, Elmona married William (Bill) Johnson. In 2000, Elmona retired from Frontier Engineering and in 2002 Bill passed away.

When she was not working, Elmona enjoyed ballroom dancing, fishing, and watching OSU and Oklahoma City Thunder basketball games.  She was considered by some to be a “professional traveler”, due to her superb navigational skills and ability to pack the largest of items in the smallest of bags.  She enjoyed many trips to Branson, Mo., with her children and grandchildren.  She was a member of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, Yale Baptist Church, and the Wagon Wheel Square Dancing Group.

Elmona will be remembered as a fun, loving and ornery woman who was independent and full of joy.  Her laugh was infectious and her smile could brighten even the darkest of days.  She was never happier then when she was surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Elmona Potts was a caring mother, a proud grandmother, a dedicated employee and a loyal friend who will certainly be missed by all who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her mother Mona June (Ritter)(Atkinson) Scott and father Elmer Milton Ritter; One brother, Geary Ronald Ritter; first husband, John Paul Potts; second husband, Ralph Summers and her third husband, Bill Johnson.

Elmona is survived by her children: Larry W. Potts and wife Vicki, of Claremore; Tony D. Potts and wife Jinnie, of Stillwater; Judy L. (Potts) Hite and husband Alfred, of Glencoe; brother, John R. Ritter of Stillwater; sisters, Dorma L. Dawes of Stillwater and Donna K. Riley and husband Ray, of Stillwater.  Seven grandchildren: Olivia (Hite) Dawes and husband Travis, of Perkins; Jennifer (Potts) De Batista and husband Gidbert of Florida; Justin Potts and girlfriend Kayle of Ramona; Jerred Potts and girlfriend Julie of Vera; Travis Potts of Cushing; Rachel Hite of Missouri and Marcous Potts of Stillwater.  She is also survived by 8 great grandchildren.

Condolences can be sent to the family via an online guest book at or on facebook at

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