Senator Sheldon L. Rittmer View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 11/21/2015
Birth Place: Clinton County, Iowa
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 74 (1991) - 79 (2001)
Home County: Clinton
Sheldon L. Rittmer
Clinton County


Sheldon L. Rittmer was born on September 5, 1928, in Clinton, Iowa, to Elmer and Lois Hass Rittmer. He passed away on November 21, 2015, at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife Elaine; a daughter Lynnette and her spouse, Dennis Jones; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Rittmer was a lifelong resident of Clinton County. He graduated from DeWitt High School and attended Clinton Community College. He was a crop and livestock farmer. Rittmer was married to Elaine Heneke on June 11, 1950, at the First Lutheran Church in Maquoketa.

Rittmer was an active member of his community. He began his years of service as a member and chairman of the Farm Service Board of Clinton and Jackson County and the Clinton County Extension Council. He was a county supervisor from 1978-1990. He belonged to many community groups, including the Farm Bureau, Cattlemen’s Association, Clinton County Pork Producers, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Izaak Walton League, Lions Club, Clinton County Historical Society, City of Clinton Chamber of Commerce, City of DeWitt Chamber of Commerce, and Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.

In 1990, he ran for the Iowa Senate and served three terms. He was instrumental in the passage of many bills involving eminent domain, licensing, police and fire protection pensions, the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS), campaign finance, election laws, and casino and gambling regulations. In service to his constituents, he was attentive to detail and to others’ concerns, and he was especially responsive to phone call and letters. He received the Iowa Soil Conservation award in 1994 and the Iowa Nurses Association Legislation award in 2002.

Rittmer enjoyed getting to know people. One of his favorite activities was talking to people of all ages and in all walks of life. He had a knack for remembering names. He was always up to date on current events, reading newspapers and magazines and watching local, state, and national news.

Sheldon Rittmer was a Clinton County Republican. He served in the Iowa Senate from 1991–2002, during the 74th, 75th, 76th, 77th, 78th, and 79th General Assemblies.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE EIGHTY-SEVENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF IOWA: That in the passing of the Honorable Sheldon Rittmer, the State has lost an honored citizen and faithful and useful public servant, and that the Senate by this resolution expresses its appreciation of his service to the State and tenders its sympathy and kindest regards to the members of his family.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That a copy of this resolution be spread upon the Journal of the Senate and that the Secretary of the Senate be instructed to forward an enrolled copy to the family of the deceased.

Rita Hart

Mark S. Lofgren

Robby Smith