George Thomas Riley, 71, of Saint Joseph passed away Tuesday, January 14, 2014, at Heartland Hospital after many, many years of fighting the good fight, running the good race of physical challenges and faith witness through years of medical issues.
George was born in Maryville and raised in Ravenwood, MO. Following construction work and Pearl Brewery, he worked for MNX truck lines and H & R Block and other accounting businesses. He was a longtime active member of Cathedral of St. Joseph, particularly as a reader and food pantry volunteer.
With his many hospital, dialysis, 3 transplants, and the help of many medical personnel, they each beautifully contributed to his care and quality of life.
George lived a lifetime of never knowing a stranger. He would be one of the first to help a stranded motorist or lend a hand to anyone. He lived his faith by example and lived the “Golden Rule.”
Annual family vacations explored the states, always traveling top notch, staying at luxurious campgrounds (which were known as having bathroom facilities) in our pop up camper. He truly had a gift of fixing anything, or at least giving it up to 2 weeks of trying. It amazed us all what could be done with a roll of duct tape and plastic.
For a man with decades of equilibrium challenges, it truly excited his wife’s blood pressure each time upon a ladder for this or that…and he appeared to do it quite often. Amid all these health and life challenges, their marital unity blessed us all with inspiration of a true marriage.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Thomas and Vivian Riley. His survivors include his beloved wife, Mary, and mother-in-law, Mary Walter, of the home; son Fr Ken Riley, KCMO, daughter Lisa (Kim) Phoenix, AZ, daughter Denise, KCMO, and son Tom (Krista) and granddaughter McKena, KCMO; his brothers John (Barb), Ravenwood, MO, Bernard (Sharon), Ravenwood, MO, Leo (Linda) Riley, Liberal, KS, and many extended nephews and nieces.
Family will receive visitors from 5-6 pm on Thursday, January 16, at Heaton-Bowman, followed by a prayer service from 6-6:30 pm with visitation until 8 pm. A Funeral Mass at Cathedral of St. Joseph, will be 10 am, Friday, January 17. Cremation and inurnment will follow in private family service in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, St. Joseph, at a later date.
Memorials may be sent to Cathedral food pantry or DaVita Dialysis. He was an advocate of organ and tissue donation, too: “Don’t take your organs to heaven; heaven knows we need them here.”
Online condolences: www.heatonbowmansmith.com