Friends gather at Olivet Nazarene University, Marlene Rittmann funeral held as Sergeant family

Bourbonnais, Ill. (WLS) – Hundreds of people gathered on Friday to pay tribute and celebrate the life of Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Ritmann, who died in the line of duty last week.

Police from across the state were present at the funeral service at the Chapel Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.

Sergeant Ritmann was 49 years old and had just been honored as “Officer of the Year” for Kankakee County. She spent the last 21 years in law enforcement, the last 14 years with the Bradley Police Department.

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His wife, Lynn Stua, gave an emotional eulogy about their lives together and their love for each other. She talked about her anger and speedy justice as well as asking Officer Tyler Bailey to keep her in her prayers.

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Those who knew him said that he wrote poetry. One of his poems, written in 2001, appeared in his funeral program. In it, she talks about police officers and how they might one day be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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One line reads, “May one day be mine beyond the call of duty. No regrets, sadness or fear as I walk the blue line.”

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His squad car was parked outside the chapel as dozens of court patrol cars prepared to take part in the procession.

Last Wednesday, Rittmann and his partner, 27-year-old Tyler Bailey, Answered a call at a hotel in Bradley.

When they knocked on a door, prosecutors say Darius Sullivan chased him, then allegedly shot and killed him with his own gun. Officer Bailey was also shot and remains in the hospital.

A reitmanic was read out at the funeral

“The color we bleed is dark blue.

The blood that is shed comes from without asking from whom.

There is no choice of what we do, where we go or when we die.

The color we bleed is dark blue.

Everyone will often have to pay the final price.

Those wearing the uniform accept the sacrifice.

May one day be mine beyond the call of duty.

I have no regrets, sadness or fear while walking the Blue Line.

The color I will bleed is dark blue.”

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