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John Wycliffe Riley

September 24, 1942 June 20, 2011
John Wycliffe Riley
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Obituary for John Wycliffe Riley

John Wycliffe Riley GILMER � John Wycliffe Riley, 68, died June 20, 2011 at his Gilmer, TX home. John was born September 24, 1942 in Indianapolis, Indiana to LeRoy and Treasa Riley. John lived in twenty-one places before the age of eighteen with a large portion of his childhood spent in communities in Kansas and Missouri. In 1952, he lived in Morocco while his father served as an Air Force Chaplain. John graduated from Daingerfield High School with the class of 1960. He attended nursing school at Northwestern State College in Natchitoches, LA before joining the Air Force in 1961. It was while they were dental assistants in the 855th Medical Group at Barksdale Air Force Base that he first met Sandra Louise Moore. They were on base during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the beginning of the Vietnam War. They were married December 23, 1964. John attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. He and Sandra moved to California where he graduated from Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA and then California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) in San Luis Obispo, CA with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The bulk of his career was spent with Salt River Project at the Navajo Generating Station outside Page, AZ. John continued his training when possible and was the first certified pressure vessel inspector in the state of Arizona. He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. John spent thirty years living in Page, Arizona. He thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors, especially the Grand Canyon. He hiked the Grand Canyon many times and journeyed through on the Colorado River by boat as often as he was able. On a hike from Rainbow Bridge to Navajo Mountain, he and his hiking friends encountered a young woman with a broken ankle. They took turns carrying her out so she could receive medical attention. John was an active member of the Unitarian Fellowship of Longview. He volunteered for the American Red Cross and spent many hours operating an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV). He also assisted with American Red Cross relief efforts in New York City following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was a creative engineer at heart and could build or fix anything. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sandra Riley. A sister, Janice Sronce (Ronald) of Buffalo, MO. A daughter, Margaret Santhanam (Sanjay) of Greenwich, CT. A son, John Riley of Portland, OR. A grandson, Nashoba Santhanam and two granddaughters, Meghana and Emily Santhanam of Greenwich, CT. A niece, Deborah Barth (Monte) of Pelham, AL and great niece, Danielle Barth of Fort Myers, FL. He was preceded in death by his father, LeRoy Francis Riley and his mother, Treasa Grace Hall Riley. Graveside service with military rites will be held at 2:00 PM, Friday, June 24, 2011 at Valliant Cemetery, Valliant, OK. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 AM, Saturday, June 25 at Unitarian Fellowship of Longview. Arrangements are by Grubbs-Loyd Funeral Home in Gilmer. Donations can be made to the American Red Cross.

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