Herbert D. “Jim” Ritchey, 86, of Missoula, passed away Wednesday, April 13, 2016, of natural causes.
Jim was born Jan. 3, 1930, in Perry County, Pennsylvania, to Eldie and Bessie Ritchey. As a young boy he worked with his father on the family dairy farm. Jim married Jean Kauffman on April 14, 1951, in Hagerstown, Maryland. The family moved to Montana in 1960 and Jim began work for the Anaconda Company and later Champion International. He was gifted mechanic and could fix anything. For many years he held a second full-time job working for Union 76 or Standard Oil.
Racing was a passion for Jim. He raced stock cars throughout western Montana in the 1960s and has always been a NASCAR fan. He later traded driving race car for boating, snowmobiling, camping and fishing. He loved outdoor recreation and spending time with family and friends. Jim was always willing and anxious to help. He took great pride in his skill and ability. His generosity and caring manner will be missed by all.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife Jean, son Dale, and siblings Bill Ritchey, Edna Wilson and Hazel Coons. He is survived by daughter Kathy Simpson and sons Jim Ritchey (wife Linda) and Mike Ritchey (wife Angela), all of Missoula; a sister Esther Stake of Pennsylvania; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service in celebration of Jim’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 22, at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home chapel. Urn placement will follow in the mausoleum.
Jim’s family extends thanks to Tom Smith for his endless help and companionship through recent years. Thanks also to the staff of Partners Hospice for providing outstanding care to dad for the past months. Special thanks to Kelly for her loving care; we are forever grateful. Memorials in Jim’s name may be made to the Partners Hospice, 2687 Palmer St., Suite B, Missoula, MT 59802; or the Humane Society of Western Montana, 5930 Highway 93 S., Missoula MT 59804.