William Stephen Riley 1921-2006
William Stephen Riley (Bill) died peacefully in his home in San Antonio, TX on September 2, 2006, with his wife of 42 years by his side. He was born on July 19, 1921, in Beverly, MA to William James Riley and Anastasia Cheverie. In 1939, he graduated from high school in Nashua, NH with honors. He received an appointment to the Naval Academy, where he graduated in 1944 and was commissioned in the Navy, serving aboard the USS New Jersey during WWII. In 1949, Bill graduated from MIT with a Specialist Degree in Naval Construction and Engineering. He was a Lt. Commander when he left active service to work in the private sector.
He married Mildred Kearney in Jacksonville, FL in July 1943 and they had six children; William James, Lee Helene, Lynne Marie, Mark Stephen, Laura Ann, and Anna Louise. Mildred passed away in 1964 and Bill remarried a widow, Jane Barnhouse Morris, who had nine children from her first marriage; Nancy Jane, Elizabeth Ann, Mary Louise, William Howard, Carol Joan, Helen Catherine, James Gerard, Thomas Frederick, and Jean Marie. In 1966, Rebecca Jane was born, "an only child and the youngest of sixteen."
Bill was a devout Catholic, who served God, his family, and many others throughout his life. After his service in the Navy, he was active in the Naval Reserve, while working as an engineering manager throughout his career. Bill retired from the UT System, MD Anderson Cancer Center, in 1990, where he worked as the Director of Engineering Planning and Construction. He was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus (Council 9967), and also a member of the USNA Alumni Association.
In addition to a successful management career, Bill continued his education and became a chemical dependency counselor. This experience complemented the insight he gained from 36 years of sobriety. He also worked as a teacher, counselor, program director and mentor in a number of service programs. For many years, he and his wife were active in a spiritual program called Retrouvaille, sponsored by the Church, to help transform troubled marriages into stronger unions. The last two years, Bill and his wife served as Coordinating Couple for the Retrouvaille of San Antonio Community.
Bill was preceded in death by his first wife, Mildred, a son, Thomas, and grandsons, Brian Bailey, Trace and Conner Riley. He is survived by his wife, Jane, 15 children, 38 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and many other loving family members and friends.
There will be a funeral mass celebrated on Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 1 p.m. in the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, at 20523 Huebner Road, San Antonio, TX, with a reception following.
Learn more about Riley genealogy at my genealogy page.
The Riley Family, then and now
William Riley and his family, about 1965
William Riley's family at his funeral, 2006