Patricia J. “Pat” Riley, age 89, of Blissfield died on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, under the loving care of Ohio Living Hospice at Swan Creek in Toledo, Ohio.
Pat was born December 6, 1928, to Charles and Alice (Mullane) Williamson in Bay City. She spent her early life in Chicago, Ill., returning to Michigan for high school. Pat graduated from Bay City Central High School in 1946. While in high school she worked as a bookkeeper for Wald Dairy and sold chicks in the summer. She also worked as a clerk at H.G. Wendland & Sons department store.
In the fall of 1946, she enrolled in the County Normal Teaching Program in Bay City and upon graduation taught at the Hampton Township School #2.
In the fall of 1948, Pat enrolled at the University of Michigan and graduated in June of 1951 with a BA in English and Speech. While at the University of Michigan Pat, belonged to the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, was an orientation leader and the corresponding secretary for her sorority, Delta Zeta. It was at the University of Michigan that she met her husband, John F. “Jack” Riley. They were married on August 25, 1951, in Bay City and enjoyed 59 years of marriage until his death on February 26, 2011.
Following their marriage, they moved to Detroit where Pat then taught English and served as a school counselor at Thomas Edison Junior High School in Dearborn, Mich. They moved to Blissfield in 1957, or as she always said “we came home to Blissfield.”
Pat served as a member and President of the Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library Board, a member of Light of Christ Catholic Parish (St. Peter’s) belonging to the Sodality and the Alter and Rosary Society. She also sang in the church choir and taught religious education for twenty-two years, made rosaries for the missions and drove for the Meals on Wheels Program. Following a rigorous pageant season, Pat was crowned The Lucas County Fair “My Fair Lady Pageant” Queen, representing Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek in 2011… See the crown, Wear the Crown, Be the Crown.
Pat was very involved in her children’s lives, including serving as a Homeroom Mother, hosted float building for Homecoming, attended sporting events, plays and musicals and dragging her children to swim lessons religiously. She enjoyed knitting, doing cross stitch, quilting, gardening, canning, was a prolific letter writer and played bridge poorly.
In recent years, Pat’s greatest joy has been her grandchildren, Alex, Blaine and Brie. When talking with anyone she could corner, Pat would ask a question in which she had no real interest but which opened the door for her to unabashedly brag about her grandchildren. She would then produce several purse-sized photo albums to share with those who showed the slightest interest and to many who showed none. Pat loved attending the annual Michigan vs. Michigan State (Jack’s alma mater) football games, dinner together every night as a family (school activities permitting), holiday gatherings, family vacations, trips to Higgins Lake in Michigan and sitting out under the stars at night, and winter evenings sitting in the family room with a fire in the fireplace, backyard lights on/inside lights off, watching it snow and just talking and wallowing in one another.
Above all, Pat had a wonderful sense of humor and joy for life. She always found the good in everyone and was quick with a joke, an Irish Blessing or a poem about martinis. Pat was the baby at every christening, bride at every wedding and corpse at every funeral.
Pat is survived by her children, Frank (Donna) of Blissfield and Kathy (favorite child) of Sylvania, Ohio; daughter-in-law, Pam of Grosse Ile; grandchildren, Alexandra (Kory) Petterle, Blaine (Marianne Vu) and Brianna; step-grandchildren, Derek Baugh and Rene Baugh. Pat was preceded in death by her husband, Jack, her parents and a son, John W. Riley.
The family of Pat wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staffs of Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek and Ohio Living Hospice at Swan Creek for their loving care and friendship that was shown to our mother.
The Funeral Liturgy was offered at 11 a.m., Monday, March 19, 2018, at Light of Christ Parish (St. Peter’s), Blissfield with Fr. Jeff Poll presiding. Interment followed in Pleasant View Cemetery, Blissfield. Visitation was from 2-7 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, with a Rosary Service at 6 p.m. at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield. Visitation also took place on Monday prior to Mass at church from 10-10:45 a.m. at the church.
You may send online condolences to the family at www.andersonfuneralservices.com. Memorial contributions are encouraged to be made to Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library, the Village of Blissfield Pool Fund, Ohio Living Hospice at Swan Creek or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Envelopes are available at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield.