John H. "Jack" Riley, Jr.

John H. "Jack" Riley, Jr.


John H. “Jack” Riley, Jr., 89, formerly of Galena, Illinois and now a resident of Arlington Place in Oelwein, Iowa died Monday morning, October 7, 2019 at MercyOne Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa with Betty at his side.

Mass of Christian Burial was held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oelwein with Fr. Ray Atwood officiating.

Visitation was from 3:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday and from 9:30 to 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Jamison-Schmitz Funeral Home in Oelwein.

Rosary Service was held at 4 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home.

Parish Scripture Service was at 7 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home.

Interment was at the Union Cemetery, Putnam Township, rural Aurora, Iowa.

The Aurora American Legion Honor Guard held a Military Graveside Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family.

Online obituary at


John Hastings “Jack” Riley was born July 25, 1930 in West Union, Iowa the son of John Hastings and Edna C. (Sloan) Riley, Sr. He attended elementary school at Donnan and graduated from West Union High School in the class of 1948.  Jack continued his education at Upper Iowa University at Fayette and graduated from the Electronic, Radio, Television Institute in Omaha, Nebraska.  Jack was united in marriage to Betty Joan Reed on December 20, 1952 at Holy Name Catholic Church in West Union.   Jack worked for United Airlines.  He then served in the U.S. Army Signal Corp. during the Korean Conflict.  During his military service the couple moved to Aberdeen, Maryland.  Jack worked for United Airlines and then continued to work for the airline communications industry at Aeronautical Radio, Inc. (ARINC) in Elk Grove, Illinois, until he retired in 1987.  Betty & Jack moved to Galena, Illinois in 1989 and later purchased a condo in Oelwein in 2000 so that they could divide their time between the two communities.  Jack was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Galena, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oelwein and the Aurora American Legion.  He was so generous and compassionate.  All who knew him will miss him.  His typical Irish humor and wit as Jack is remembered for commenting about his own obituary, “Those that knew me, know what I did in life, those that didn’t know me, missed out.”

Jack is survived by his devoted Wife of 66 years: Betty Riley of Oelwein; Brother-In-Law:  Richard (Ardie) Barnes of Clermont;

32 awesome Nieces and Nephews of whom he cherished and loved to tease; Numerous Great Nieces and Great Nephews; Reed Family In-Laws:  Bonnie Kastli of Oelwein, Charles (Sandy) Reed of Sumner, Nancy (Gary) Maurer of Independence, Gary (Penny) Reed of Maynard, Eugene (Evy) Reed of Winterset, Don (Arleta) Vandersee of Fayette; 6 Godchildren:  Cathleen Cain, Richard Barnes, Lori Kime, Philip Lavin, Mike Warner and Mike Kiley; and countless friends worldwide.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents; sister: Kathryn Barnes; brother and sister-in-law: Larry (Georgie) Riley; parents-in-law: George and Donna (Pieplow) Reed; and in-laws: Beverly Vandersee, Beulah & Jerry Falck, Dewey Kastli, Georgia & Hal Nolting and Kieron Odekirk.



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