HYANNIS — Charles Wesley Riley, 90, of Hyannis, passed away on Sunday [September 23, 2012] surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Biddeford, ME, in 1922 to the late Marguerite and Michael Riley. He grew up in Manchester, NH, attended Boston College, Saint Anselm College, UNH and Yale, where he studied everything from sheet metal to law.
Charlie joined the United States Marine Corps in 1941. He was a member of the elite Edson’s Raiders, 1st Marine Raider Battalion. He was in the first wave to hit Tulagi Island on August , 1942, a combat veteran in the battles of Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Guam, and Okinawa in WWII. He served in the Korean Conflict and Vietnam, and Solomon Island campaign. He retired as a Master Sergeant in 1970. Mr. Riley was one of the last of the elite “Marine Raiders.”
Charlie married the love of his life Jeannette Marie (Lavoie) Riley on June 25, 1949, and was stationed all over the country from Camp Lejeune, NC, to Germany to the Phillipines. They were married for 49 years before Jeannette’s passing in 1998. Upon retiring from the Marines, Charlie chose beautiful Cape Cod, MA, home where he settled with his family in Hyannis, and he had been ever since. He went on to have a distinguished career in the accounting field working for Sea Lake Corporation until he retired.
Charlie was that rare individual who touched everyone. He had a great sense of humor and loved to tell jokes and give spelling tests to everyone he met. He was known for being the “candy man” with a bag full of candy at his side for all to enjoy. There wasn’t anyone who didn’t instantly love him; he was truly “one in a million” and will be missed by all.
He was predeceased by his wife Jeannette, daughter Kathleen G. Breen, son Michael K. Riley and grandsons Sean M. Breen and Justin P. Reis. He is survived by his daughters Theresa E. Riley of West Yarmouth, and Nancy A. Quillen and her husband Glenn Ludvigson of Hyannis, a son Philip A. Riley, and granddaughters Michelle M. Meredith and her husband Derek of Maine, and Melissa A. Quillen of Hyannis.
Friends and relatives will honor and remember Charles’ life by gathering for visiting hours at the John-Lawrence Funeral Home, 3778 Falmouth Road (Route 28), Marstons Mills, MA, on Friday, September 28, from 4 to 7 p.m.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, September 29, at 10 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church, 230 South Street, Hyannis. Burial will follow at Mosswood Cemetery, Cotuit.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Francis Xavier Church, 21 Cross Street, Hyannis, MA 02601.