NEMPA mourns the passing of Gene Ritvo

The following email was sent out by Motorsports Marketing Resources and includes a little bit about Gene, where we can send condolences, and information about a memorial service.

Gene- you are already missed very much. Rest in peace dear friend.


It is with shock and sadness that I share with you the news that Gene Ritvo, a founding member of the Motorheads, has passed.

Gene suffered a heart attack and died at work on Wednesday afternoon. He was 74.

Gene Ritvo was a motorsports photographer and enthusiast with a passion for fine sports cars, Italian motorcycles and the exciting vehicles that annually visit the eighteenth fairway at Pebble Beach.

For twenty-two years, Gene chronicled the events on that narrow strip of ocean-side green and later brought it all to life for us in Boston. Those winter evenings of slides and videos were a significant part of the motorsports scene in New England. They also were a source of great joy to the many of us enthusiasts who could not always make the pilgrimage to California.

Sadly, there will not be a Gene Ritvo show this year. Many of Gene’s best pictures from the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance can be viewed on in the Photo Gallery section of Photos/Stories/Videos. Enjoy. We will keep them up for a long time.

Gene was curious about everything and simply fascinated by how things evolved and functioned. He loved precision instruments and mechanical gadgets. To him these were what art and sculpture are to others. Cameras, corkscrews, gold speaker wires, Italian motorcycles and fast sports cars all were part of his essence. Gene imperceptibly could transfer his fascination with and understanding of things mechanical to incisive analysis of and creative insight in complex business issues. More than one of us owes Gene a huge debt for the wise counsel he shared in the name of friendship.

Gene brought his love of mechanical precision to his driving and riding and vehicle ownership. Pre-owned Gene Ritvo vehicles were sought after because he had researched and documented all possible improvements. His cars and motorcycles always were better than when they left the factory. He brought other forms of precision to bear on other facets of his life. He spent the same amount of time and effort researching a parking space as he did on deciding a restaurant meal. Such decisions never were made lightly and not all were conclusive. Gene was known to visit a selected parking space several times during an evening simply to ascertain, after the initial selection, that the spot continued to provide the appropriate level of safety for his car. What a guy!

Gene, like all of us, was not a flawless human being. He had firm ideas of what he needed from and expected of others and because his standards were so high, he could be difficult to please and at times just plain difficult. Yet Gene never expected more of others than he expected of himself. While his judgments of performance could be severe, he maintained his respect for his fellow man and never passed judgment on the character of others. This was one on Gene’s most admirable traits, and an enviable one at that.

We now mourn the loss of an interesting friend who lived life passionately and well. The fullness and breadth of his living can be measured by the many people around the world today who are saddened at the passing of a person they considered a good friend. Especially those who knew him as a husband and father.


Gene is survived by his wife, Phyllis and two daughters, Karen and Susan. In keeping with Gene’s wishes, there will be no viewing or immediate gathering. Expressions of sympathy can be mailed to 126 Conant Road., Weston, MA. 02493. A memorial service will be held in November and we will advise you of the details as they become available.

One Response to NEMPA mourns the passing of Gene Ritvo

  1. Frank Rapisardi December 1, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    Just recently heard the sad news . Gene was a long time friend from many years ago in the Alfa Owners of New England . Last time I saw him was in 2007 at Pebble Beach in the media tent . I was fortunate though to have talked to him a few months back and loved hearing his distinctive voice again . He was a character and will sadly be missed by many of us . RIP Gene !

    Frank Rapisardi

Leave a Reply