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Gerald F. "Gerry" Riley

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Gerald F. "Gerry" Riley, Sr.
longtime Lowell area resident; 85

CHELMSFORD -- Gerald F. "Gerry" Riley, Sr., a longtime Lowell area resident, passed away Monday, October 8th at his residence. He was 85.

Gerry was born in Lowell, one of eight children of John and Katherine Riley. He attended local schools playing football and baseball at Keith Academy, where he served as President of his graduating class in 1945. He enlisted in the United States Navy after graduation, completed basic training and was aboard the USS Samaritan heading to Japan when the war ended. Following military service, he returned to Lowell, married his sweetheart, Theresa (Zipps), raised 6 children, and worked for 40 years at the local GE plant, serving most of those years as a diamond die inspector and as a member and an elected officer of the United Electrical Workers union local. Gerry served as an usher at St. Margaret's Church for many years; he and his brother Bill also coached the St. Margaret's CYO senior league baseball team. After retirement, he enjoyed the company of Theresa, his 6 children, 14 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and his many friends. He was a member of the Mount Pleasant Golf Club where he was an avid '45' player.

He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Theresa and his 6 children; Colonel Gerald Riley (USAF, Ret.) of O'Fallon, IL; Cathy and Bill Lewis of Westford; Jane and Bob Veiga of Concord, NH; Ann and Bob Trottier of Andover; Elizabeth (Beth) and Paul Fontaine of Dracut, and Chris and Monica Riley of Chelmsford. Also surviving is his sister, Ms. Joan Underwood of Lawrence.

He was especially proud of the many achievements and successes of his 14 grandchildren- Jill Kenniston; Melissa Wilson; Kathleen Jobling; Mark Riley; Brent Veiga, Justin Veiga and Kristen Veiga; Nicole Fontaine; Erin Riley; Shannon Fontaine; Sean Riley; Caitlin and Alex Trottier, and Samantha Fontaine. The grandchildren as well as his great-grandchildren all miss their Papa.

In addition to his parents, Gerry was preceded in death by his brothers John and Bill Riley; his sisters; Dorothy Riley; Muriel Riley; Shirley Sarota; and Mary Riley, and his daughter-in-law Ellen (Carroll) Riley.

Gerry was a man of integrity whose faith, patriotism, sense of humor, and gentle, loving spirit was evident to all who knew him.

RILEY -- GERALD F. SR. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday from 4 to 8 pm at the BLAKE FUNERAL HOME, 24 Worthen St., CHELMSFORD. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday at 11 o'clock at St. Mary Parish, 25 North Rd., Chelmsford. PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH. Interment in St. Mary Cemetery, Tewksbury. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the VNA of Middlesex-East & Visiting Hospice, 607 North Ave., Suite 17, Wakefield, MA 01880 or St. Mary Parish Building Fund, 25 North Rd., Chelmsford, MA 01824. Funeral Director Paul A. Hardy, Jr. For directions or online condolences visit BLAKEFUNERALHOME.COM.

Published in Lowell Sun on Oct. 10, 2012
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