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James  Ray Riffey

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“One of my favorite customers at Pennfield Family Fare, always a smile and a hug ready, over to hear his laugh. ”
1 of 31 | Posted by: Holly Moore - Bellevue, MI

“Mr. Riffey was a great Mentor. A Big and Tall Man with a soft and wise heart. He was always strict yet fair with me at WK Kellogg. I held him in...Read More »
2 of 31 | Posted by: Jeffrey Wheaton - Battle Creek, MI

“My deepest sympathies to the Riffey family. I met Jim and Esther about 12-14 years ago at Bob Evans, as I serve as a manager for BEF. I always...Read More »
3 of 31 | Posted by: Jeff HOARD - Richland, MI

“My prayers to the family for strength, healing and one day at at time during tour mouring period. Remembering Mr. Riffey, from Battle Creek Central...Read More »
4 of 31 | Posted by: Ruth Caldwell - Battle Creek, MI

“As a former student of Coach Riffey, I am so saddened to hear of your loss, he deeply impacted my life. I ran into him one morning at Bob Evens and...Read More »
5 of 31 | Posted by: Wi;;iam Hubbart - Battle Creek, MI

“Leslie, I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad passing what a wonderful tribute to such a great man. I was so fond of your parents when they would dine...Read More »
6 of 31 | Posted by: Trish Hydon - Marshall, MI

“We just want to let you know how sorry we were to hear of your Father's passing.Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time.Love and...Read More »
7 of 31 | Posted by: Donna Castleberry - Battle Creek, MI

“It saddened me to hear of Jim's passing. I was his. Special teller when he would come in to Comerica. We both helped each other during the passing...Read More »
8 of 31 | Posted by: Sherry Webster - Springfield, MI

“My condolences to the family, Mr.Riffey was a great man and a major influence in my life, he was my principal at w.k.k.between 1977-1979. I skipped...Read More »
9 of 31 | Posted by: Diane Bradstreet (Harger) - MI

“We send our deepest sympathy to Leslie, Mike and their families. I will always remember my Uncle Jim for his friendliness and great sense of humor....Read More »
10 of 31 | Posted by: A friend

“My wife and I met Mr. Riffey at breakfast a few years ago. He noticed my flight jacket and asked about my military service. As we sat and ate, Jim...Read More »
11 of 31 | Posted by: Bryan Smith - Battle Creek, MI

“Fond memories of Jim at this time of his passing. Our thought are with you. ”
12 of 31 | Posted by: Bill Halstead - DOWLING, MI

“To the family .. So sorry for your loss! I was a staff member when Jim was principal at WK. I taught under 6 different principals and always will...Read More »
13 of 31 | Posted by: Ethel Thompson - Battle Creek, MI

“So sorry to hear of your Fathers passing. He had a long and full life. I did know him will but for me and lot of old Hatchets in life's in those big...Read More »
14 of 31 | Posted by: William Reiners - Newburgh

“Mr. Riffey was such a positive, supportive principal while I was in middle school. He made our school great. He will be missed by all of the lives be...Read More »
15 of 31 | Posted by: Christina McCurdy (Jenkins) - MS

“Dear Leslie and family, So sorry for the loss of your father. May you find comfort in your memories of him. ”
16 of 31 | Posted by: Mary Culp - Battle Creek, MI

“Mr. Riffey was a wonderful man, dedicated to education. I was privileged to teach at W.K. while he was principal. Everyone who knew him was a better...Read More »
17 of 31 | Posted by: Judy Fulton (was Welch) - Ashland, IL

“Mr Riffey was my principal, and I always would run into him over the years, I worked at Bob Evans, and he was famous there too, everyone loved him....Read More »
18 of 31 | Posted by: Julia Marie - Battle Creek, MI

“You were a big part of my Junior High Life! So happy for the lessons and discipline! RIP Mr Riffey! ”
19 of 31 | Posted by: Patrick Maxwell - student

“Mr. Riffey was one of my favorite teachers at Central. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing but glad to hear he lived a good long life. ”
20 of 31 | Posted by: Bob Cleveland - Battle Creek, MI

“Mr. Riffey was always pleasant and had a smile to share with everyone. He was definitely one of the best educators in the Battle Creek area. His...Read More »
21 of 31 | Posted by: Margarietta Pratt Glass - MI

“Mr. Riffey!!! He was my principal at WKK in 76-79. I would go down in 9th grade and do the morning announcements quite often. I ran into him from...Read More »
22 of 31 | Posted by: Barb Connelly-Walters - MI

“Tim and Leslie and Family, Our sincerest sympathy. We always got a kick out of Jim. Loved his spirit and would love running into him. Our thought...Read More »
23 of 31 | Posted by: ALICIA STARK - Battle Creek, MI

“"Ole Dad" was my one of my high school baseball coaches at Central. But what I remember most was when he "reluctantly" picked me up on my way to...Read More »
24 of 31 | Posted by: Gary Bundy - battle creek

“Sorry to hear this. May you find peace and comfort in the upcoming days Don & Susan ”
25 of 31 | Posted by: Susan Stemaly - Athens, MI

“Mr. Riffey holds a special place in my heart. Rest easy, sir. ”
26 of 31 | Posted by: Jessica S - Battle Creek, MI

“Mr. Riffey you will be missed! He was my principal at WK Kellogg Junior High and he was always strict but fair which i totally respected!! I'm...Read More »
27 of 31 | Posted by: Tony Dozier - Belleville, MI

“Wonderful neighbor, friend and person. I will miss his smiling face and friendship. ”
28 of 31 | Posted by: JIm Payne - Battle Creek, MI

“Will miss running into him at Bob Evans and him greeting me by calling me Izora (he thought I looked like my mom, Izora Ward, who worked for him as a...Read More »
29 of 31 | Posted by: Lynn Gray - Battle Creek, MI

“Heaven truly gained an angel. My grandfather was Carl Riffey, one of Jims brothers. Great Uncle Jim was a kind and wonderful man. He was also...Read More »
30 of 31 | Posted by: Susan Chapman (Riffey) - FL

“Sorry to hear about the loss of uncle Jim. We have many fond memories of our family visits with him. He was a great man and will be missed by...Read More »
31 of 31 | Posted by: Terry Riffey - Jacksonville, FL

Army Emblem

James R. Riffey, 94, of Battle Creek died at the Battle Creek Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.

Jim was born in (basketball country) Washington, Indiana to Theodore "Ted" and Nannie Kay (Morgan) Riffey on December 14, 1923. He grew up in the town of Washington and was a 1942 graduate of Washington High School, where he was a member of the 1941 & 42 Indiana State Championship Basketball Teams. He served his country with the 11th Airborne Division of the U.S. Army and fought in the Philippines from New Guinea to the Aleutian Islands; and felt lucky to be alive. After the service, he graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor's Degree in History and Physical Education from Tulane University; and where he was an All-American Basketball Player. Jim played basketball for the 1950 & 51 Detroit Pistons. His first teaching position was at nationally ranked DuPont Manual High School in Manual, KY, where he taught and coached for six years. Harry Davidson enticed him to come to Battle Creek Central High School, where he taught for nine years and served as the assistant principal. He also served BCPS for nine years as principal of W.K. Kellogg Junior High School. He was a well-liked, respected coach with a good record. Jim also received his Master's Degree in Education from Michigan State University.

Jim was united in marriage to Esther W. Wildridge in Washington, IN on June 9, 1948. Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Esther on March 11, 2011. Surviving are his son, Michael (Annette) Riffey of Battle Creek; his daughter, Leslie (Tim) Obrig of Battle Creek and two grandchildren, Donald Riffey of Battle Creek, MI and Katie Riffey of Manhattan, NY. Jim was also preceded in death by one sister, Martha Gray and by five brothers, Roy, Samuel, Carl, Horace and Howard. Family was always first and after Jim retired he especially enjoyed spending time with his family. He was an avid reader, history was his favorite and especially the Civil War. He enjoyed anything to do with sports, working in his yard, traveling, fishing in Canada and just being active.

Private services for Jim's family will be held at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Memorial contributions in memory of Jim may be made to the Leukemia Society.

Arrangements by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed here at

Upcoming Funeral Services
Interment with Full Military Honors

Fort Custer National Cemetery

15501 Dickman Rd. Augusta, MI 49012