Patrick John Riley passed away peacefully on December 24th, 2019. Patrick was 89 years old and a man of great faith and love for his family, his community and the legal profession. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Vallejo, California, Patrick graduated from University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude and earned his Juris Doctorate from Boalt Hall, University of California at Berkeley. After serving in the US Air Force as a legal officer and captain for the Judge Advocate General, Patrick and his bride, Roberta, moved to Placerville where he set out to accomplish his childhood dream of becoming a small-town civil lawyer. During his 30-year tenure as an El Dorado County attorney, Patrick was known as a bright, energetic, hard-working, man whose integrity and ethical practices were second to none. Patrick was an extraordinary community leader serving on many local, regional and statewide boards and commissions. His passion for community and providing for a better tomorrow ran deep. In 1989, Patrick was appointed Judge of the Superior Court of El Dorado County. There his vocation became his advocation. As a civil attorney and then civil judge, Patrick's optimal preparation, overwhelming command of the subject matter and law, and willingness to take on the most difficult and complicated cases, distinguished him as a man with a profound sense of fairness, justice and all that is right. As juvenile judge, Patrick found an opportunity to make a difference ~ supporting and inspiring the struggling youth and families of El Dorado County, as well as instilling a sense of responsibility and respect. Patrick was instrumental in the establishment of the New Morning Youth Shelter and launched CASA El Dorado with the support of his wife and friends. He worked closely with the County Law Enforcement agencies and social services to enhance rehabilitation opportunities for juveniles, adults struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, and to help protect and combat elder abuse. Judge Riley retired in 2001 and served as an Assigned Judge in 16 counties of Northern California for an additional ten years. In addition to all that Patrick did for his community and the judicial system, he was a family man, a lover of the Sierras, a voracious reader and history buff. His happy place was time spent with his family and friends at home and in the Sierras, swimming, hiking, backpacking and just enjoying the great outdoors. Patrick is survived by his wife, Roberta/Bert, their daughter, Katie/Kate Stille, son, Michael/Mike Riley, son-in-law, Eric Stille, as well as six grandchildren, Stephanie Teran (Javier), Riley Stille (Nina), Mackie Stille, Erin Riley, Nick Riley, and Emma Riley, and great-grandson, Michael Teran. A Memorial Mass followed by a Celebration of Life Reception is planned for Monday, February 10th, 11am at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Placerville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be directed to CASA El Dorado, 347 Main Street, Placerville, CA 95667.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Jan. 19, 2020.