Richard W. Paris, 71, craftsman, grew up in Ridgefield

Richard W. Paris of Danbury, a craftsman and Ridgefield native, died on Monday, Sept. 16, at Danbury Hospital. He was 71 years old.

Mr. Paris grew up in Ridgefield and attended Ridgefield High School, where he was a member of the Class of 1961.

His first shop and studio, Living Art, was located in the 1970s on upper Route 7 in Ridgefield, where he specialized in creative furniture and art, fashioned mostly from pine. Often he would convert old items, like wine presses, butter churns, bellows, and once, even a car radiator, into furniture pieces.

“That’s what keeps me alive, the variety,” he said in a 1974 interview.

Later, he ran a cabinetry business, Paris Design, for many years in Georgetown.

Mr. Paris “was a talented man, a true craftsman, winning builder of the year, and creating masterpieces with integrity that no one could do,” his family said.

“His true passion was his cars,” his family said. “He had built many over the years, each one as beautiful as the last. Cruising to Marcus on a Saturday night or going to a car show on a beautiful Sunday was what he looked forward to during the week.”

He was in the process of opening Fenders, a restaurant  “where the average person who had a passion for all things automotive could come to talk shop.”

His wife of 50 years, Barbara Califano Paris, died Jan. 12.

Survivors include his sister, Pauline Bianco of Ridgefield, his son and daughter in law Richard and Jackie Paris of Myrtle Beach, S.C., his daughter, Jennifer Paris and her fiancé, Aaron Graves, of Danbury; his grandchildren Amber and Drew Horvath, his step-grandchildren Cody and Alexa Graves; and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 9:30 AM in St. Peter Church, 115 Main St., Danbury.

Interment will take place at the direction of the family.

The family will receive friends in the Jowdy- Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury on Monday, September 23, from 6 PM to 8 PM.