Ritchey, James L. "Jim"
September 16, 1934 - August 21, 2018
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of James L. Ritchey of Sarasota, Florida on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at the age of 83.
Jim was born on September 16, 1934 in Richmond, Indiana to Harold and Bertha Ritchey. The family moved to Fort Myers early in Jim's life where they lived until Jim moved to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida. It was early in his college days when he met the love of his life, Shirley Matkin. They married on January 29, 1956 in Fort Myers. They continued their education and supported each other through post graduate degrees.
Jim served as an associate editor for the University of Florida Law Review and received his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law with honors. Jim eagerly accepted a position at Williams, Parker, Harrison, Dietz and Getzen Law Firm in Sarasota, FL where he spent the next 55 years practicing law. The firm quickly became their second family. He specialized in real estate, banking and finance and became a visionary in the field of real estate. His real estate practice allowed him to garner immense amounts of local knowledge and he was the historical reference upon which many in the community relied. He was a member of the firm's management committee for over 30 years, and served as its president for nine of those years.
Jim was a Past Chairman of the Sarasota Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee and a Past Chairman and Board Member of the Attorneys Title Insurance Fund. For decades he mentored young attorneys sharing his knowledge and bestowing his wisdom. Both personally and professionally Jim was known as a patient, generous, kind, fair and a good man.
His love of sailing began early in his life and continued for many years. Many hours were logged and charts navigated. Sailing was a way of life for him which allowed for many hours of reflection and entertainment. Not only did he teach many to sail, but he taught us all the love of sailing.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley Ritchey, daughter, Lisa Ritchey (Michael) Craig and granddaughter, Olivia Craig of Marietta, GA, son, James Patrick (Darby) Ritchey of Sarasota, FL. His dedication to Shirley and his family was his greatest accomplishment. He will always be remembered for his sense of humor, his quick wit and his calming presence.
A celebration of Jim's life will be held at The Field Club Saturday, August 25, 2018 from two to four p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of James L. Ritchey to the Shirley A. Ritchey Endowment Fund at the Education Foundation of Sarasota, Fl. 1960 Landings Blvd., Suite 120 Sarasota, Florida 34231.
Published by Herald Tribune from Aug. 22 to Aug. 23, 2018.