A life well lived – a loving tribute to the founder of McNabb and Risley – Richard McNabb

Posted on Mar 21, 2017 in Blog

Recently, Richard McNabb passed away at age 91 in Dallas, Texas where he had resided with family.  Mr. McNabb was the co-founder of McNabb & Risley Fine Furniture and Interior Design in Thiensville, Wisconsin, along with his dear friend Russell Risley.  When Mr. Risley passed away in the mid 1960's, Mr. McNabb, being the gentleman he was, insisted his business partner's name remain on the door.  He felt it was important because it was a dream they had shared, and he wanted the Risley family to know that the legacy would live on.  This is just a tiny example of Mr. McNabb's kindness and generous spirit.  Richard McNabb was a long time resident of Meqoun-Thiensville and raised his family locally.  He loved the small town rural feel of the community in the early 1960's and supported the Mequon-Thiensville Rotary Club for many years.  Mr. McNabb served as the Rotary Club President from 1969-1970 and was awarded the Honorary Paul Harris Fellow Award in 1994, which my husband and I proudly witnessed.  

As the current owners of McNabb & Risley, my husband and I are deeply saddened by Dick's passing and will always remember him with deep respect and gratitude.  It was Richard McNabb who laid the successful foundation of the business that still bears his name today.  When we first purchased the store, Mr. McNabb was always there to be a sounding board to offer gentle guidance and insightful solutions for problems big and small.  He also knew everything about the store inside and out.  For instance, when I called him one morning and had to ask, "Do we have a well, and where is it?" when the well inspector suddenly appeared, Mr. McNabb came right over and showed where the well was in an obscure part of the warehouse where I would have never thought to look.  Also, Mr. McNabb was amazingly handy and could fix almost anything in the store that broke and if he couldn't, he knew who to call and would offer to do so.  

Mr. McNabb continued to follow the furniture business for many years and would stop by to talk shop right up to the time he moved to Texas.  His enthusiasm at age 90 was inspiring!  I hope when he looks down from Heaven that he sees how his little company has grown and expanded and realizes all the opportunities that he has played forward to Jim and I and all the McNabb & Risley employees over the last six decades.  Because of Mr. McNabb's vision, six generations of employees have been able to actualize their dreams big and small in more ways than he can imagine!  Many of us were able to buy homes, drive safe cars, send children to college, pay for weddings, afford costly medical care, pay off school debt, support elderly parents, and contribute to local charities.  I like to think of this as the ripple effect where one life can make a huge difference to so many.  For this and more, I thank you Mr. McNabb, you will never be forgotten and you left the world a better place just by being in it.

-Jim and Tara Wilke and the entire McNabb & Risley Staff

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