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Richard ‘Rick’ Riley, 95

| January 16, 2022 12:00 AM

Richard Darrell Riley, 95, passed away on Jan. 4, 2022, at Brendan House in Kalispell.

Rick Riley was born on March 28, 1926, in Kalispell to Val Jean and Charlotte Dryer Riley. He was the last of five children, the “baby” of the family.

Rick graduated from Flathead County High School and served in the Army Air Corps during the 1940s. After his honorable discharge, he attended college at Gonzaga University in Spokane, and completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern California. In later years he completed his master's degree.

As a young man, Rick converted to the Roman Catholic faith. He was a very devout and longtime member of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Kalispell.

In 1955, Richard and Virginia “Peggy” Williams of Kalispell were married. Many people let Peggy know that she “caught” the most eligible bachelor in Kalispell. Rick immediately gained two children, Sandy and Mike. Rick and Peggy made their home in Libby while Rick worked in sales for J. Neils Lumber Company. During their time in Libby, the Rileys adopted Don and Charlotte. Rick and Peggy also fostered two Cuban refugee children, Maria and Frank and their mother Aleida while in Libby. As Dad fondly said, he never knew who would be seated at the supper table. In 1964, the family moved to Mankato, Minnesota, and then to Waterloo, Iowa, before returning to Kalispellwhere Rick continued his lumber sales career. After 17 years of employment with F.H. Stoltze Lumber Company, Rick entered retirement. Rick enjoyed his time at Stoltze, and the company treated him well long after his retirement.

In 1989, Rick married Patty Duval. They made their home in Kalispell until her death in 2007. Rick welcomed Patty’s children, Jack, David, Terri and Lisa, into his life. Terri lives in Kalispell and has been a very close, loving and supportive daughter to Rick.

Since Patty's death, Rick has shared his home with his son Don Riley. Don and Rick had a wonderful companionship, stronger than that of many fathers and sons. They traveled together and helped each other through the years. They enjoyed many meals at Bojangles restaurant where the staff treated them with tender care. They were a true team. Rick will be very dearly missed by his son Don. During the last months of Rick’s life, his older son, Mike Riley, lived with Rick and Don. He was a big support to them both during bouts of ill health and eventually during Rick’s stay at Brendan House.

Rick loved his home state of Montana and was proud of his heritage as a son of an early Flathead County pioneer and Kalispell businessman, Valjean Riley. Rick was a very devoted son to both Valjean and Charlotte Riley. His daughter Charlotte Jean was named for his parents. He was an avid reader, a great conversationalist, student of the Bible, skilled downhill skier, amateur sculptor, admirer of Western and Flathead Valley artists, a student of Lewis and Clark and a staunch Republican.

Rick made friends wherever he went. Whether it be the grocery store or family gatherings, he always took interest in the lives of others and made time to make everyone feel important.

Rick was preceded in death by his parents Valjean and Charlotte Dryer Riley, sisters Laura Endicott of Libby, Phyllis Lupo of Kalispell, brother Don Riley of Boise, Idaho, daughter Charlotte Riley of Thompson Falls, and wife Patty Riley.

He is survived by children, Sandy Lehman (Chuck) of Arizona, and Mike and Don Riley of Kalispell; bonus children, Jack (Janet) Denton of Arizona, David (Susan) Denton of Idaho, Terri (Andy) Loudermilk of Kalispell, and Lisa (Dale) Duval of Missoula; and his sister, Betty Stockard, a very youthful 103 years of age, of Kirkland, Washington. In addition, he was a devoted and loving grandfather to many grand- and great-grandchildren. He is fondly remembered by his very many loving nieces and nephews and their families.

No funeral services are planned at this time. At a later date, when Montana soil thaws, the family will gather at Rick’s final resting place in the Riley family plot at the C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery to bury his ashes.

Dad would be the first to say he fully lived and loved his life and now he is reunited with many family members and friends, all at rest in the arms of Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior.

RIP