William Eugene “Gene” Richey, 89, of Nampa, Idaho, passed away peacefully on May 23, 2021, at his residence in Meridian, Idaho.
Gene was born on December 29, 1931 in Klamath Falls, Oregon, to James and Lillian Richey (Wohlander). His only sibling, brother Jim Richey of Priest River, Idaho, preceded him in death last year on May 23, 2020.
He lived his early years in Klamath Falls, Oregon and in Seattle, Washington. Dad’s family moved to Idaho and he graduated from Nampa High School in 1949. On June 13, 1951, he married Connie Rhodes in Nampa. Gene and Connie built their lovely Nampa home in 1966 and lived there until moving to Boise in 2013. Connie passed away in 2014 prompting Gene to move back to Nampa to be near his friends. In 2018 after a mild stroke, he moved to the Edgewood Assisted Living facility in Meridian, Idaho.
Gene enjoyed antiques, but his main passion was his 1955 Chris-Craft, which he restored, maintained, and entered in boat shows over the past 30 years. One of his memorable moments recently was when his former Chris-Craft was christened in Lake Tahoe by the new owners.
Gene purchased the family business from his mother in 1963. The O.K. Rubber Welders became Big O Tires in later years. Steve Tarter eventually bought the tire store which is now Commercial Tire on 11th Avenue North in Nampa.
Dad began his real estate phase with Albright Realty and later with Jerry Guentz Realty. He built duplexes in and around Nampa and later an office on 3rd Street South with his friend Larry Bruck. His last business venture was Sheppard-Wood Distributors, Inc., which he sold to his son. Scott successfully evolved a portion of the former company into Specialty Fulfillment Center.
During his life, Gene was a member of many civic organizations. Most notably the Exchange Club, Jaycees, and the Nampa Elks. Gene was a board member of the Snake River Stampede for many years. In 1995, Dad was honored to be chosen as President of the Snake River Stampede. He and some friends formed an investment club named the Jolly Boys. Over the years they invested in bagged ice vending machines, catamaran sail boats, concrete yard statues, and built some storage units. Each year the Jolly Boys and their wives would go on a fun trip to enjoy their success and friendship.
He rode horses, motorcycles and snow mobiles and enjoyed hunting, skiing, rafting, and bee keeping. He loved making waffles from scratch for guests.
Gene is survived by his four boys, Mark (Candy), Scott (Kathleen), Blake (Jesse), and Craig (Pohley). Five grandchildren Amanda (Justin Brown), Adrian (Montana Patton), Alec, Sloan, and Reece. One great granddaughter Eva Brown.
A viewing will be held at the Nampa Funeral Home (Yraguen Chapel) in Nampa, at 9:00 AM Monday June 7, 2021. Graveside services at Kohlerlawn Cemetery will follow for family and friends. A reception will be held for Dad at 1:00 P.M. at the Nampa Elks Club (B.P.O.E. 1389).
The family would like to thank Edgewood Assisted Living for providing excellent care, but especially to Joan Corum and Patty and Gill Sierra for their love, companionship, and care for Gene.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Nampa Elks Club, or charity of choice.
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