DOVER, N.H. – Gerald F. Riley (Jerry), passed away on Feb. 26, 2020. He was the son of Anna V. Riley from County Claire Ireland and Howard T. Riley from Newport, R.I. He was born in Newport on January 11, 1937. He was married to Joyce Sullivan Riley of Middletown, R.I., for 65 years.
He is survived by three sisters: Nancy Beverly, Suzanne McDonnell, and Mary Riley. He is predeceased by his oldest sister Patricia Gasiorowski. Jerry was the father of five children; Dr. James Riley, who is deceased, Raelene and Chris Buchanan, Brenda and Loring Tirrell, Sharon Ham, and Jay and Karen Riley. He had 10 grandchildren: Ryan Tirrell, Matthew Tirrell, Danika Ham, Taylor Ham, Brennan Riley, Amanda Riley, Kerry Riley, Shannon Riley, Riley Buchanan, and Nellie Buchanan. He also had one great-granddaughter named Ophelia Atwood-Tirrell. Jerry has many relatives all over Ireland and several here in the United States and England.
Jerry attended school in Newport and graduated from De La Salle Academy in 1954. He later graduated from Bryant College in Providence, R.I., in 1957.
He spent most of his life in retailing, starting as an assistant manager of JJ Newberry’s in Providence. Jerry was later transferred to JJ Newberry’s in Peabody, Mass., as an assistant manager. He received his first manager position at JJ Newberry’s in Nashua, N.H. It was in Nashua that he later transferred to the WT Grant Company. He served WT Grants for many years, first in Nashua and then in Salem, N.H., as a Merchandise Manager. His first manager position for WT Grants was in Portland, Maine. From there he managed stores in St. Albans, Vt., and then Milford, Mass., until WT Grants closed.
In 1977 he opened Riley’s Home Care Center in Durham, N.H. He owned and operated this hardware business until 1993. Jerry then joined Richard Kay at Dover Paint and Varnish where he finished out his career in 2017.
Jerry was especially proud of his Irish Heritage, and he visited family in Ireland often. He introduced Ireland to many of his children and grandchildren. Jerry loved Boston College, Notre Dame, Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins and any game/sport his family members participated in.
He had a quick wit, loved to joke around and always had a wise crack at the ready. He was loved by many and will be dearly missed.
Family and friends may visit Saturday March 7, 2020 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at the Tasker Funeral Home, 621 Central Ave, Dover, NH.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12 p.m. at the Parish of the Assumption, St. Mary’s Church, on the corner of Chestnut and Third St. in Dover.
Burial will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Please go to www.taskerfh.com to sign the online guestbook.