James Thomas Rich of Durham went home to meet his Lord Friday evening following a short illness at Duke Hospital.
He is survived by his two “Reds” – wife, Polly Woodlief Rich and L’il Red Rich, his mother, Mrs. Lucille Rich, nephew Travis Medlin, his adopted brother, Brent Tapp and special friend of 30 years, Bobby “O” O’Briant, along with legions of friends from a lifetime of being a person to whom there were no strangers, only friends he had yet to meet.
Jimmy was a simple man whose infectious laugh and big teddy bear personality brought a ray of sunshine into the lives of many people in various walks of life. His many interests included his family, home, church, neighbors, the elderly, children, animals and anything that had a motor. He was a man of many talents and those who knew him well were aware how very gifted he was. He was a member of Sharon Acres Free Will Baptist Church in Durham. He was a member of Bull Street Riders in Durham and a ham operator N4CTR; his handle to CB truckers was “Trouble Maker”. His presence on the internet ranged far and wide. Jimmy liked to say he got paid for doing what he loved to do, drive a truck; he was employed by Creedmoor Fuel Company.
He was predeceased by his father Clayborn Rich, his brother Jerry and his sister Phyllis Rich Medlin. Jimmy would have said he was also survived by his ’38 Chevy.
A memorial service is planned for Tuesday evening, January 4, at Sherron Acres Free Will Baptist Church, 1300 Lynn Road in Durham at 7:00 pm with the Reverend Fred Johnson officiating.
Visitation will follow in the church fellowship hall. Dress is casual. Flowers are omitted and as Jimmy would have said, “Just give someone a big hug and say ‘I love you’. If you have to do something else, plant a tree.”
“I’ll meet you in the morning by the bright riverside
Where all sorrow has drifted away.
I’ll be standing at the portals when the gates open wide
At the close of life’s long dreary day.
I’ll meet you in the morning with a “how do you do”
We’ll sit down by the river
And with rapture old acquaintance renew.
You’ll know me in the morning by the smile that I wear
When I meet you in the morning in the City that is built four square.”
Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Durham is assisting the Rich family.