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RILEY, JOHN BLAIR - died September 16, 2013. He was 66. He is survived by a sister and brother in law, Linda and David Hickey of Staunton, VA; and by a brother and sister-in-law, Doug and Donna Riley also of Staunton. He is also survived by nephews, Matthew Hickey and his wife, Stacie, and Jonathan Riley and his wife, Sandra. Other survivors include a niece, Rosalea Potter and her husband, Chas; as well as three great nephews, Benjamin and Bryson Riley, Scott Hickey; and special friend, Mrs. Fritzie Logan. John also had a beloved cat named "Peebles" who had been his constant companion for twelve years. He was preceded in death by his parents, J. W. and Edith Riley; and nephew, William Scott Hickey. Following academic degrees at Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State University, Dr. Riley began his professional career as a professor in agricultural economics at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. While at K-State he also served as acting head of the department and became the assistant director of Resident Instruction for the College of Agriculture. In 1995, he became the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at UT in Knoxville, Tennessee. He later returned to what he enjoyed the most-the teaching and advising of students. He was currently a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at UT. Dr. Riley was very active in 4-H as a youth. He showed sheep and steers and took neighbors' flocks of sheep to county fairs as his way of raising money for his college education. Numerous county leadership awards came his way, including being named a 4-H All Star. He continued to support 4-H and FFA activities throughout his life and received Honorary State Farmer's Degrees from both Kansas and Tennessee. His work with college students took many forms. He was advisor to the FarmHouse Fraternity at both K-State and UT. He coached the National AgriMarketing Association (NAMA) Marketing Teams at both K-State and UT and served as a team coach longer than any other university's team coach. His teams won several national competitions, but were always considered a team that you had to beat if you were going to win. He won the NAMA Outstanding Advisor Award while at both universities. For his work with the National NAMA Careers Committee, he was the only university person to be recognized by NAMA with its National Leadership Award. He was also advisor to departmental clubs but it was his contact with students as an academic adviser that was his true calling. John spent many hours, at any hour of the day or night, with students who needed his assistance. His advising efforts were recognized with several college and university awards. His classroom teaching was also recognized. For both his teaching and advising, he received the UT Institute of Agriculture's Lidvall Award. John provided leadership to numerous organizations. In Kansas, he chaired the local county Extension Council and provided leadership to the Kansas Junior Livestock Exposition. He chaired the university's board for the management of its cultural arts center and was the co-director of the university's first all University Careers Fair. At UT he was president of the Faculty Club. At both universities, he served as president of the Phi Kappa Phi all university honor society and held officer positions in the agriculture honor society of Gamma Sigma Delta. He also served both honor societies at the national level. He was International President of Gamma Sigma Delta and served for 10 years as International Secretary. He was always active in his church, especially the choir, and was known for the cinnamon rolls he would occasionally make for a Sunday morning. John enjoyed the theatre, the opera, music, and cooking. He also spent much time helping care for his older neighbors and friends wherever he resided. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday at Lake Hills Presbyterian Church, 3805 Maloney Road, Knoxville, TN 37920 with Rev. James McTyre officiating. The family will receive friends after the service at the church. Funeral services will also be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday at Hebron Presbyterian Church, 423 Hebron Road, Staunton, VA 24401. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Members of the FarmHouse Fraternity will serve as pallbearers. Memorials may be made to Bachman Academy, 414 Brymer Creek Road, McDonald, TN 37353 or to Hebron Presbyterian Church. Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel, 11915 Kingston Pike is serving the Riley family.
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel on Sept. 19, 2013