Landscapes 15

Roger Edward Riley

October 6, 1935 ~ February 3, 2022 (age 86)

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Roger, or “Eddie” to those of you who knew him in his youth, passed away Thursday morning, February 3, 2022, at 7:00am.  He will be buried in Visalia, California alongside his parents, Roger Frederick Riley, and Kathrynne Eileen Riley, on Saturday, February 12, 2022.

He was a gifted and successful person whose mind was consumed by Alzheimer’s disease over the last 15 years of his life. He was able to live at home on his ranch in the hills above the California Delta, thanks to the love, care and devotion of his wife, Linda Lee Riley.

Roger was born in Dodge City, Kansas, in a rented basement apartment across the street from a hospital. It was 1935 and the country was in a depression. Roger was smart and athletic and upon graduation from Dodge City High School he married his high school sweetheart, and first wife, Alice Karen Crawford, and joined the Air Force.  He served as a survival instructor, which led to his love of backpacking, an activity he enjoyed with his sons.

 After his Air Force service, he graduated from the University of Nevada with a business degree, then went to work for Ernst and Ernst Savings and Loan Association. Served as Vice President of Finance at Hyatt Medical Corp. in southern California, and later as CEO of Merzoian Brothers, an agricultural firm, in central California. He headed his own financial consulting firm for a short time. Then in 1992 he moved to the Pittsburg area to open a Perko’s Coffee Shop – now the site of Country Skillets, on Harbor Street and Atlantic Ave. Running a restaurant, it turned out, was one of the few things for which Roger wasn’t particularly well suited. So, he pivoted, turning to real estate and became one of the area’s best Century 21 agents at that time. Before long, he opened his own local real-estate brokerage, Roger Riley Realty, and he strove to create opportunities for others. He was successful at helping his clients start their own business’ and attain home ownership. His work ethic was special and unique.  He “retired” from real estate to pursue other investment opportunities, always searching for personal meaning and purpose.  Roger also had a talent for singing that gave him great joy, and he never shied away from standing up and sharing a tune.  He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and an enthusiastic home teacher and supporter of the missionary program and their causes.

Roger is survived by his wife, Linda; his sister, Sharon Riley of Overland Park, KS; 3 sons, Robert of Pismo Beach, CA and his wife Andrea, Roger of Preston, MO and his wife Tracee, and Michael of Sacramento and his wife Cindy; 2 step children, Sandy Jones of Pittsburg and Ricky Wilkinson of Brentwood; 9 grandchildren, Christopher Riley of Sacramento, and his wife Risa, Alycia Ayala of Sacramento and her husband Mario, Ellen Riley of Austin, TX and her fiancée Robert Witoff, Stephen Riley of Antelope, CA and his wife Sydney, Ian Riley of Pismo Beach, Amber Wilkinson of Helena, MT and her husband Collin, Zack Esauibel of Brentwood and his girlfriend Alyssa Olson, Jimmy Jones of Pittsburg, Amber Wilkinson of Brentwood; and 13 great grandchildren, Antonio Ayala, Emylee Ayala, Carlos Ayala, Julio Ayala, Ivy Riley, Abigail Riley, John Riley, Callen Riley, Thomas Riley, Elizabeth Riley, Evelyn Riley, Eleanor Wilkinson and Sophie Wilkinson. 

The family would like to extend their appreciation to Cescille "Eden" Moline for her tender care of Roger, as well as Linda.

Friends are invited to the funeral on Saturday February 12, 2022, at the Visalia Cemetery Little Chapel, 1300 Goshen Ave, Visalia - burial to follow. Visalia Cemetery (559) 734-6181.

A celebration of life memorial service will be held for Roger at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2201 Golf Club Road, Pittsburg, on March 5, 2022, at 11:00am.

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To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Roger, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
February 12, 2022

12:30 PM
Visalia Public Cemetery Little Chapel
1300 West Goshen Avenue
Visalia, CA 93291

Memorial Service
March 5, 2022

11:00 AM
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
2201 Golf Course Road
Pittsburg, CA 94565

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