Rich Richey, 81, of Green Valley, Arizona, passed away on July 9, 2019.
He was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Howard and Beatrice Richey, and grew up in New Holstein, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin, which required all freshmen and sophomore males to take military training. He chose the Naval ROTC. It took very little exposure to the traditions, discipline and military pageantry to thoroughly captivate him. He set his sights for the United States Naval Academy. He took part in a nationwide competition among the NROTC students for 10 appointments authorized by the Secretary of the Navy. He finished in the top 10.
He made an interservice transfer to the Marine Corps as captain in1965. He volunteered for duty in Vietnam twice. Duties from 1965-1971 included commanding a Marine artillery battery, Staff Secretary for 2nd Marine Division, Staff Secretary for 3rd Marine Division and a Fire Support Coordinator.
Returning to the states, he was selected to serve on the prestigious U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare Team giving presentations in 17 foreign countries and 22 states. He finished his military career as Inspector-Instructor 4th Marine Division, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in Birmingham, Alabama.
Retirement in Alabama included professional photographer, advertising director and the last eight years as Manager of Office Technology for BE&K Engineering. The Richeys lived on a small farm outside of Birmingham, raising Limousin cattle and all sorts critters in their spare time.
In 2001, Rich, wife, Sandi, two horses and three dogs moved to Green Valley to support Sandi’s parents, Bette and Gene Schipmann. They fell in love with Green Valley. Rich kept busy with his handyman business, A Man for all Fix Its. He started the Good Hands Guild, where members pledged to subscribe to follow an ethical code of conduct.
In 2003, Rich was one of the organizers of the Green Valley Marine Corps League.
A man of all seasons and their wordsmith, he volunteered as 2nd Vice President of the Green Valley Community Coordinating Council and chaired the Environmental Committee, where the Dispose-A-Med program was developed.
He was invited to join the Registrar of Contractors Industry Advisory Council and he served three years on the Pima County Planning and Zoning Commission.
He is survived by his wife, Sandi; son, Erich; daughter, LeeAnn; brother, Jack; granddaughters Heather, Melody, Stephanie and Nicole; grandson, Dan; nieces Jennifer, Kris and Bree; and nephew, Brett.
A man of great wit, humor, sarcasm, intellect, integrity and honor. He was a Marine’s Marine, spit and polished, respected by all Marines he came in contact with. He was also a caring husband and father, with unconditional love for his family. His nickname, earned in the service, was Rich, which is what he made all our lives, richer. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him, but never to be forgotten.
Rich’s memorial is planned for Oct. 5, 2019, at 10 a.m. at American Legion Post 66, 1500 W. Duval Mine Road. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka KS, 66675-8517.