George Donald Riley Jr.

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  • "Dear Riley Family ~ Our thoughts and prayers are with you..."
    - Beatrice Locher Mango
  • "We are very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing his..."
    - Reginald Lavallee
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George Donald Riley, Jr., a retired executive in the oil pipeline industry, retired Navy Captain, and veteran of World War II and the Korean War, died of lung disease on December 18, 2016 at Fairhaven, a continuing care community in Sykesville, Maryland. He was 92. Born August 9, 1924, he was the son of the late George Donald Riley and Virginia Maddox Riley of Baltimore. A 1946 graduate of the United States Naval Academy (Class of 1947), he served aboard the USS Frontier, a destroyer tender, in the Pacific; the USS F.D. Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier, in the Atlantic; and later on the USS Caliente, a fleet oiler off Korea during that conflict. He returned to the Naval Academy to teach economics and government and later served with the Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, in Hawaii. He also served as commanding officer of the Navy's Petroleum Inspection Offices in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Captain Riley was awarded the Joint Services Commendation Medal while serving in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the time of his military retirement in 1972, he was head of petroleum logistics in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. After leaving the military, he was Director of Research at the Association of Oil Pipelines in Washington, D.C. for 17 years. Growing up in Baltimore, Captain Riley attended Calvert, Roland Park Public, Baltimore Polytechnic, and Severn schools before entering the Naval Academy. He received a Master of Economics from the American University in 1961. His interests in retirement included genealogy, historic preservation, tennis and model railroads. He was a volunteer in the research library of the Historical Society of Carroll County and was the author of five books: Tidewater Maryland Ancestors in 1999; David Shriver (1735-1826) in 2003; Journey to Bahrain in 2006; The Ghost of Legh Furnace in 2009; and Two Guys from Baltimore in 2013. He was responsible for placing two historic Carroll County properties on the National Register of Historic Places: Avondale (c. 1765) and Farm Content (c. 1795). Captain Riley and his wife, the former Helen Brogden Shriver, lived for 43 years at Farm Content, a historic landmark built by Mrs. Riley's ancestor, David Shriver, a Revolutionary War-era patriot and legislator. The Rileys donated a preservation easement on Farm Content to the Maryland Environmental Trust, the Maryland Historical Trust, and the Carroll County Land Trust, thereby ensuring the property's preservation. Captain Riley also organized and incorporated the Historic Shriver Graveyard, Inc., in order to ensure the perpetual care of a historic Shriver family graveyard near Westminster. Captain Riley served on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Historical Society, the Board of Governors for the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc., and the boards of directors for the Historic Shriver Graveyard, Inc., Sons of the Revolution, and the Westminster Riding Club. He was a member of the Sons of the Revolution, the Historical Society of Carroll County, the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, the Maryland Historical Society, the Society of Colonial Wars, the Society of the Ark and the Dove, and was a subscriber to the Bachelors Cotillon. He was a lineal descendant of Leonard Calvert, the first Governor of Maryland. He was an active member of the Church of the Ascension in Westminster. In April, 2011, Captain Riley and his wife moved to Fairhaven where he enjoyed writing for Inkling magazine and the Fairhaven website. He also served as a member of the Chapel Council. Captain Riley is survived by his wife of 61 years; three daughters: Helen R. Hecht of Westminster, MD, Virginia R. Fahrney of Royal Palm Beach, FL, and Rebecca R. Silver of New London, NH; two sons: Samuel M. Riley of Westminster, MD and Benjamin S. Riley of Summerfield, NC; 13 grandchildren and one great-grandson. Services will be held on Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the Church of the Ascension in Westminster, followed by interment at Pipe Creek Cemetery, 26 North Pipe Creek Road, Union Bridge. The family will receive friends for visitation at the family home, Farm Content, at 1221 Old New Windsor Pike on Wednesday, December 28, 2016, from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Historic Shriver Graveyard, Inc., the Historical Society of Carroll County, or the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc. Arrangements provided by Pritts Funeral Home and Chapel, 412 Washington Rd., Westminster. Online condolences may be made at

Funeral Home
Pritts Funeral Home
412 Washington Road
Westminster, MD 21157
Published in Carroll County Times on Dec. 21, 2016
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