William Thomas Riley
May 17, 2023
Our dad, William Thomas Riley, went to heaven to be with our maker on Friday, May 12, 2023, in the Billings Clinic Hospital, Billings, Mont., surrounded by his family.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m., Saturday, May 20, at Bell Mortuary in Glasgow, Mont., with Pastor Rick Thompson officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery, Glasgow.
Dad was the first born to Ernest and Julia Belback Riley in Rockglen, Saskatchewan on Nov. 20, 1935. He was followed by his four siblings, Wayne, Sharon, Doyle, and Margaret. He attended school in RockGlen until the family eventually moved to Nashua, Mont. Dad graduated from Nashua High School in 1954 where he played football, basketball, and track. Over the years he worked at many family farms and ranches including the Bergtolls, Speers, Millers and Tihistas. He often talked about these families, telling funny stories and how much he enjoyed his time with them.
In 1954, Dad married Janice Von Eschen in Fort Peck, Mont. The oldest of four children, Vicki was born in 1955, followed by Pat in 1957, Mike in 1958 and Sherryl in 1960.
Dad was employed by Buttrey's Food in 1955 in Glasgow then moved to Malta, Mont., to work for them as a butcher. Our family moved back to Glasgow where Dad worked for Sinclair Produce, as a painter at Fort Peck in the dam tunnels, and in the Plentywood oil fields. He joined the Glasgow School District in 1968 as a custodian at the South Side School and retired in 1998. Dad was well respected throughout the district and cherished the friendships he made. Dad was also a farmer, often coming home from work and spending most of the night working in the fields or out keeping watch on cows during calving season. He taught us so many useful life skills while we lived on the farm.
After Dad retired, he bought a boat and spent years fishing all across Fort Peck Lake. He loved to take his family and friends out boating and fishing. Many of his children and grandchildren caught not only the fishing "bug" but also a love of hunting and the outdoors from Grandpa.
Dad was always one to enjoy a good practical joke and tell a great story.
Dad was preceded in death by his dad and mom; sister Sharon Ozark; brother Doyle Riley; nephews DeWayne Ozark and Brad Riley; and his granddaughter, Amanda Martin.
He is survived by daughter Vicki and husband Jeff Brinkman; son Pat and wife Linda; son Mike and wife Janet; daughter Sherri and husband Brad Martin; 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Dad never met a stranger. He was a wonderful soul, so kind and giving to everyone. We will miss him each and every day.
Condolences may be left at bellmortuarymontana.com.