Cover photo for JAMES R. RILEY's Obituary
JAMES R. RILEY Profile Photo
1929 JAMES 2021


July 16, 1929 — April 12, 2021

James Richard Riley, 91, of Altoona, passed away Monday afternoon at Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidaysburg, surrounded by his family. Jim was born in Altoona, son of the late Charles D. and Wilhelmina B. (McIntosh) Riley.

Jim married Lois J. Detwiler on June 19, 1951, at St. Leo The Great Catholic Church. She preceded him in death on Jan. 27, 2013, after 62 years of marriage.

Surviving are four children: Christina (Robert) Laraia, Paula Riley, James M. (Theresa) Riley and Lisa (Thomas) Levine, all of Altoona; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. a sister, Maureen Schoch of Ladson, SC and a sister-in-law, Jo Anne (Adams) Riley of Glendale, CA.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, David and his wife Carol (McGirk) Riley and Joseph Riley; and a life-long friend, Charles Hammond of Sayre. 

Jim graduated from Altoona Catholic High School in 1947.

He was a lifelong member of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church (Our Lady of Fatima). Jim was also a member of the male diocesan singing group under the Conductor of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. 

He was the last surviving charter member of the former Altoona Serra Club. As a Serran, he instituted the Altruism Awards to a senior Bishop Guilfoyle High School. 

Following his father’s death, he was President of Riley, Inc. Plumbing and Heating Contractors and retired after 67 years of service. Jim served on plumbing boards and as interim plumbing inspector for the City of Altoona. 

He played baseball for Altoona Catholic High School and the City League and was an assisted with coaching 5th ward baseball teams in the Junior Baseball Federation. 

Jim was a scoutmaster for many years. As a teenager, he was a Sea Scout and sailed on the Chesapeake Bay and a Navy Minesweeper on Lake Erie. 

His hobbies were building famous 17th and 18th century wooden sailing ships, plastic WWII ships, planes and tanks. 

Jim enjoyed listening to tenor voices of Italian and Spanish singers and was an avid non-fiction reader. 

Most of all, he and Lois were blessed and enjoyed having their children and grandchildren living nearby and vacationing together in Outer Banks, N.C. 

Family and friends are invited to attend the funeral Mass at 10:30 am Friday, April 16, 2021, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, 12th Ave & 20th St. Altoona, by Monsignor Stanley B. Carson. COVID-19 protocols are mandatory. Committal will be made at Calvary Cemetery. 

Memorials may be offered to Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, 2010 12th Ave., Altoona, PA 16601 in memory of Jim. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of JAMES R. RILEY, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Mass

Friday, April 16, 2021

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Our Lady of Fatima Church

2010 12 Ave, Altoona, PA 16601

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