Saturday, October 9, 2010

Goodbye to the Fighting Finn

ARLINGTON, TX - Inez Risher, a long-time Arlington resident and business owner, died Monday, September 13, 2010. She was 95.

Mrs. Risher was a force to be reckoned with and her legacy lives on with the family members she leaves behind. She and her husband of 62 years, Jim Risher owned Risher's Furniture at 108 N. Collins Street. For nearly 50 years, she sold furniture to generations of loyal customers who often came by just to chat.

Although many people would consider it unusual for a woman to start a business in the 1950's, Mrs. Risher never gave it a second thought. She worked seven days a week, wheeling and dealing, from behind her rickety desk that sat on an unforgiving concrete floor. She did her hair, got dressed up and wore pretty, not sensible shoes. And she always drove a Cadillac.

Mrs. Risher was born to Lempe and Arthur Lindquist on October 9, 1914, in Monessen, Pennsylvania. Her parents were both from Finland and Mrs. Risher only spoke Finnish until she began attending school. Later in life, she still used Finnish phrases particularly when trying to discipline her unruly grandchildren. She met and married her husband Jim while living in Canton, Ohio.

The couple moved to Texas from Ohio when their young son and only child developed asthma. The plan was to continue on to California but they made a pit stop in Arlington and never left. Her son, Jimmy as she called him, grew out of his asthma and went on to become a star athlete at Arlington High School.

Unwilling to bend to tradition, Mrs. Risher was at her core a businesswoman. She kept a tidy house, she made a mean pigs in the blanket but her stove was broken for the last 20 years of her life. In a 2001 interview, she said, "I like to work, and I'm very happy that I can work. I guess I've never had a job that I actually disliked." She did love to garden and maintained a beautiful home on nearby Meadow Oaks. She had many beloved pets that she spoiled to distraction.

Mrs. Risher followed local and national politics and was an outspoken Texas Democrat. Heaven forbid someone mention FOX News or the Republican party at the dinner table.

She had a tendency to give people too much credit, literally at her store, also in her life. Her husband played the heavy. At 6' 6" nobody dared mess with Grandpa Jim. Except his wife. He did whatever she asked, in part because he knew there was no sense arguing with her. And, because as time wore on, he seemed more in love with her every day.

Her wicked sense of humor and infectious laugh will be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment