David Kenneth "Ken" Ritter, a former Beaumont, Texas, mayor and music promoter/producer, died Dec. 30 at his home after a long illness. He was 79.

Ritter began his career in the music industry as a teen doing advance work for his uncle Tex Ritter. He later went on to work as a disc jockey for local station KFDM in the 1940s and '50s. He co-produced the J.P. "the Big Bopper" Richardson classic "Chantilly Lace" and worked with Johnny and Edgar Winter early in their careers. He also promoted one of Hank Williams' final concerts in Beaumont and worked with legendary Nashville music producer "Cowboy" Jack Clements.

Ritter served as mayor of Beaumont from 1970-78.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 3) in the sanctuary of Wesley United Methodist Church, 3810 N. Major Drive in Beaumont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 3195 Calder Avenue, #200, Beaumont, TX 77702; or American Real Estate Scholarship Fund, Lamar University Foundation, P.O. Box 11500, Beaumont, TX 77710; or Parkinson's Support Group Association, 6660 Woodridge, Beaumont, TX 77706.