In Loving Memory of James ‘Jim’ Richey: 1945-2022


On Dec. 30, 2022, James “Jim” Arnold Richey passed away peacefully while being comforted by his wife at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington, as a result of exposure to Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. The youngest of four, Jim was born on Nov. 5, 1945, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the son of Gilbert Ray and Verdie Gertrude (Petty) Richey. 

Jim served in the Army and was a Vietnam veteran, SP5(T), Airborne Infrared Surveillance Operator and Repair. fiSpecial training included ejection seat firing, special Army physiological TNG (night vision), chamber flight to 25,000 feet and Arctic survival training in Alaska. 

After discharge from the Army, Jim and Charlotte were married in Thurston County Washington, and later moved to Kentucky, where he taught his stepchildren two of his favorite hobbies; hunting and fishing. Later, they relocated to Washington state. After divorce from Charlotte, Jim met Irene through a coworker, Tom Rodriguez, at the Centralia Steam Plant/TransAlta, where he worked 31 years as plant utility worker and fuel equipment operator. One year after they met, they married. 

After his retirement, Jim enjoyed spending time with his wife, Irene, working at the computer, doing crossword puzzles and playing with his two dachshunds, Charlie and Shadow, and his grand-dog, Callie, also known as Silly Sally. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Thomas (Shirley) Richey, of Tennessee; his sister, Mary (Don) Purdue, of Kentucky; his sister, Bonnie Mae (Kip) Berg, of Illinois; and one stepson, Brian (Yvonne) George, of Texas. 

Jim is survived by his wife of 36 years, Irene Elena (Rodriguez/Grider) Richey, Chehalis Washington; stepsons, Alan (Pani Pak) George, of Arizona, Kendall (Sheri) George, of Arizona, Kimble (Trisha) George, of Australia, Frank Grider, of Kentucky, Eric George; stepdaughters, Aleta George, of Washington, and Yolanda Grider, of Washington and numerous nieces, nephews and step-grandchildren. 

Special thanks to staff and doctors at Providence St. Peter Hospital, Olympia, Jim’s family doctor at Steck Medical, Chehalis, his cardiologist at Providence Cardiology Associates, Olympia, and numerous friends and family who offered prayers and support throughout Jim’s prolonged illness. 

Jim will be buried at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington. A private family gathering will be held on a date to be determined