James I. Ritchie, 93, died Tuesday March 21 in Montgomery, Alabama.
Jim Ritchie is survived by his wife Betty Jo Handey Ritchie of Montgomery and her sons, George Mathews Handey and his wife Jeannie Wilhoit Handey; and Gene Nicholson (Nick) Handey III and his wife Terri Matthews Handey. He is also survived by his two sons J. McLean (Mac) Ritchie and his wife Dawn Taylor Ritchie of Tampa, FL, and C. Stokes Ritchie and his wife Linda Shirley Ritchie of Charlotte, NC.
Jim Ritchie was born in Buffalo, NY on September 6, 1918 and grew up in Bristol, VA. He served as a Combat Intelligence Officer assigned to the 447th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force in WWII. Then after living in Louisiana and Tennessee, Mr. Ritchie settled his family in Montgomery in 1956.
He attended Louisiana State University (LSU), completing his BS degree in Forestry while a proud member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida Atlantic University.
Mr. Ritchie led the Alabama Trucking Association as President/CEO for 38 years, achieving record results in growth as ATA became one of the country's strongest and most influential such trade associations. During his tenure, Mr. Ritchie was also very active in leadership positions in local and national industry plus civic organizations: American Society of Association Executives (VP, Board Director), Public Relations Society of America (Chapter President), Alabama Alliance of Business & Industry (Officer), Alabama Highway Users Conference (Chairman, Officer), Rotary Club International, Alabama Forestry Commission (Commissioner), Montgomery Little Theater (President), BPOE (Mason & Shriner).
Mr. Ritchie's passion for his Scot-Irish heritage in organizations such as the St. Andrews Society was equaled by his membership in area churches including Trinity Presbyterian, Westminister Presbyterian, Memorial Presbyterian, and most recently Woodland United Methodist in Pike Road. He enjoyed and practiced many creative pursuits, particularly music, painting and horticulture. His local and extended families were very important to Mr. Ritchie.
The family is holding Visitation at Leak Memory on Friday, March 23rd from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Mr. Ritchie's Memorial Service will be held Saturday, March 24th at 11:30 a.m. at Leak Memory Chapel. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Darr Ritchie, Neal Ritchie, Jessica Ritchie, Buddy Handey, Nick Handey, Mason Handey, Caroline Handey and Frank Pierce.In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations in his memory be placed with Woodland United Methodist Church or The 8th Air Force Heritage Museum in Savannah, GA.
Online condolences may be made at www.leak-mc.com