Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 30, 2013

David J. Richey Died June 20, 2013

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — BUCKLEY — David J. Richey passed away June 20, 2013, at Munson Medical Center of a massive hemorrhage in his brain causing a life-ending stroke.

He was born in Flint on July 22, 1939, the twin son of the late Lawrence and Helen (Millhouse) Richey. He grew up in Clio.

After graduating from Clio High School he became a third generation barber. In 1967 he sold his first story to Sports Afield magazine and soon become a prolific outdoor writer and photographer and sold stories to Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, Sports Afield and many regional and national magazines. He worked for The Detroit News as their outdoor writer and photographer from 1981 until his retirement in 2003. He wrote 7,000 magazines, newspaper articles and 22 books during his career.

He and his brother George were the first river guides for Chinook and Coho salmon. George tied flies, and they pioneered fly-fishing for salmon and steelhead in 1967.

Dave was a Life Member of the N.R.A., and the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA). He received OWAA most prestigious awards, The Ham Brown Award for Exceptional Service to OWAA in 1994, The Excellence In Craft Award in 2003 and The Jade of Chiefs Award for Distinguished Service to Conservation in 2012.

He was a member of the Pope and Young Club, Michigan Outdoor Writers Association (MOWA). MOWA awarded him the Ben East Award for Excellence In Conservation in 1983 and The Gene Little “Papa Bear” for Excellence in Craft in 1999. During his career MOWA awarded him 12 more awards. Safari Club International, Detroit Chapter, awarded him the Outdoor Writer of the Year for Appreciation of his outstanding support “For The Right To Hunt” in 1989. He was elected to the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 2006 as A Legendary Communicator for Outstanding Achievement in the Realm of Fresh Water Fishing. He was awarded a “Special Tribute” as the National Trout King in 1989 by Connie Binsfield, State Senator, and Thomas Powers, State Representative. He also received a special tribute with The Great Seal of The State of Michigan by the late State Representative Jerry C. Bartnik as an outstanding outdoors writer.

Dave had a lifelong love of fishing and hunting. He hunted and fished most of the Canadian Provinces and the United States. He fished the prestigious trout streams in New Zealand with his friend, the late Gordon Charles, former outdoor writer for the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Although he hunted most of North America’s big game animals his love was hunting the Whitetail Deer. He had a passion for reading and collecting outdoor books.

In 1976 he met his wife, Kay, on the Platte River in Honor, and they were married in Milford in 1977. They traveled six months of the year hunting and fishing to get stories and wrote the rest of the year.

He is survived by his wife, Kay; sons, David, Guy and his wife, Tonda; daughters, Kim and Stacey Richey, Nancy and Roger Kerby, Dan and Patti Conklin; 14 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and special fishing buddies, Mark Rinckey, Jack Duffy and Emil Dean.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his twin brother, George.

Dave’s ashes will be scattered on the Sturgeon River at the “Snow Hole” where he and George caught their first steelhead and the Platte River. A private celebration of his life will be held for family and close friends later this summer.

Memorial contributions can be made to Munson Hospice, 210 Beaumont Place, Traverse City, MI 49684; Archery Hall of Fame, 58 N. Main St., Union City, PA 16438; The Outdoor Writers Association of America, 615 Oak St., Ste. 201, Missoula, MT 59801; or any charity of your choice.

Please visit Dave’s webpage at to sign the guestbook and share a message or memory with his family.

The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City, to handle the arrangements.