Kentucky’s Longest-serving Commission Member Remembered for Years of Dedicated Service

Dr. James R. Rich. 600

Dr. James R. Rich

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2020) — Retired family medical practitioner and Kentucky’s longest-serving Fish and Wildlife Commission member, Dr. James R. Rich, passed away on Monday, Feb. 17, at the age of 92.

Nicknamed “Doc,” Rich was widely regarded for his sportsmanship and love of the outdoors. Appointed by eight successive governors, Rich represented the 5th Wildlife District in Northern Kentucky during a 36-year tenure that began in 1976.

“We are deeply saddened by Doc’s passing,” said Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Rich Storm. “Doc’s many years of service and his commitment to the conservation of Kentucky’s fish and wildlife resources endeared him to many, myself included. His decades of service span a critical period of restoration, growth and management. He will be greatly missed by all.”

In 1998, the Department of Fish and Wildlife named a 2,273-acre Owen County wildlife management area in Rich’s honor. In 2012, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear created the honorary position of Commission Member Emeritus granting Rich a lifetime appointment. Rich maintained a diplomatic role on the Commission and continued to be an advocate for fish and wildlife resources.

Rich was a graduate of Georgetown College and the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine. In 1955, he opened a family medical practice in Taylor Mill and maintained it for 56 years before his retirement.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife extends its condolences to the family. Rich will be greatly missed by his fellow Commission members.

Services for Rich will be 10 a.m. (Eastern) Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Chambers and Grubbs Funeral Home, 11382 Madison Pike, Independence, Ky.

Visitation will be at the funeral home from 2-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21. Interment with military honors will be in the Independence Cemetery, 5358 Madison Pike, Independence.


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