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James Potter "Jim" Richey, 91, passed away peacefully after a brief (non-Covid related) illness in Louisville at Baptist Health.
He was born Feb. 27, 1929, in Poughkeepsie, New York, and developed a love of building things, especially out of wood. He served in the U.S. Navy as a medical corpsman, then enrolled at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where he created his first business, a small laundry pick-up and delivery service. After leaving Bard, he took a
variety of jobs in manufacturing before finally settling on woodworking. He moved to Carrollton in 1969 to join the Ison Brothers Furniture Factory, then started Butler Furniture Industries (later BFI), employing more than 100 workers and making furniture for homes across the country. He retired when BFI ceased operation in the early 1980s but then volunteered with Habitat For Humanity, where as a project director he led the construction of dozens of houses that eventually became homes for families. He also used his woodworking skills on renovation projects, including doorways and window frames of business in both Carrollton and Madison, Indiana, including interior renovations of Episcopal churches in both Madison and Louisville.
He was also a serious gardener, an avid skier and until late in life a private airplane pilot. He enjoyed skiing into his 80s and was a ski instructor until recent years.
Survivors include his wife, Louise Richey; three children, Meghan McGrath, Matthew Richey and Andrew Richey; a brother Alban Richey; six grandchildren and one great grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister and one great grandchild.
A private memorial service was June 18, 2020, at the Tandy-Eckler-Riley Funeral Home in Carrollton.
Arrangements were entrusted with the Tandy-Eckler-Riley Funeral Home.
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