Patrick John Riley
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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.

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Published in The Sacramento Bee on Jan. 19, 2020.
Memorial Mass
11:00 AM
St. Patrick Catholic Church
Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
February 13, 2020
My dear old friend and mentor, my heart goes out to your family and numerous friends for the loss of one of the greatest man I have ever known.
Richard Specchio
January 21, 2020
May the God of all comfort sustain your family during the days ahead Psalms 119:76
January 19, 2020
Personally, and on behalf of the El Dorado County Superior Court, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to Bert and the Riley children and grandchildren. Our community was extremely fortunate to have such an intelligent, capable, and hard working man on the bench. His passion for helping the children who found themselves in our court system, resulted in Judge Riley implementing numerous improvements in our local juvenile justice system, many of which have now been adopted as statewide standards. The CASA program, relatively unknown when he introduced it in our county, is now in place throughout California.

Judge Riley's intelligence and legal acumen made him the ideal jurist to handle complex civil cases. In particular, his expertise in the area of land use law was invaluable. He issued thorough and well reasoned written decisions which were routinely upheld by appellate courts.

On a personal note, I have to say that my first appearance before Judge Riley when I was a young lawyer was a little intimidating. He cut an imposing figure on the bench! But I quickly discovered that beneath his exterior was a heart of gold, and that he was committed to mentoring and improving the skills of the novice attorneys who appeared before him.

When I joined the bench in 1997 as El Dorado County's first female superior court judge, he made me feel welcome and included. His role as mentor to me continued during his time on the bench. It was an honor to have worked with him.

Suzanne N. Kingsbury, Presiding Judge
El Dorado County Superior Court
Suzanne Kingsbury
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