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Riley, Robert E.

Riley, Robert E.

March 26, 1924 — May 9, 2020

Robert E. Riley, a longtime resident of Raytown, Missouri, passed away on Saturday, May 9, 2020 of natural causes at Redwood of Carmel Hills nursing home in Independence, Missouri at the age of 96. Because of the Covid-19 virus and resulting restrictions, his family could not be by his side. His family and friends knew him as Tince, Riley, Bob, Dad, Grandpa and Great-grandpa. Riley was born on March 26, 1924 in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Clarence and Ethel (Cronick) Riley. He vowed to marry Margaret M. Masters as far back as elementary school. On February 9, 1947, they were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Missouri. They recently celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary. Riley did not complete high school because of the Great Depression as he needed to help support his family.

During WWII, Riley was a member of the 4th Armored Division, 35th Tank Battalion assigned to the 3rd Army group. He fought in the Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe Campaigns, which included The Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded three Bronze Stars, a Good Conduct Medal and The Purple Heart. One of those Bronze Stars was awarded for a military operation near Bastogne, Belgium in January of 1945. While under fire, Riley left the safety of his tank to assist medics with treating and evacuating wounded infantrymen. He was honorably discharged in January of 1946 with the rank of Sergeant.

Riley was employed by several companies after the war, before becoming self-employed as a detailer of used cars for many of the major car dealerships in the Kansas City area. Riley and Margaret moved to Independence in the mid 1950’s and built their first home together. That venture became his new career and he began building custom and spec homes all around the greater Kansas City area. He was a member of the Kansas City Home Builders Association and continued to build homes until the early 1990’s. In retirement, Riley took on smaller jobs which included finishing basements and remodeling. He also volunteered his talents to restore the old fire station that houses the Raytown Historical Society. He and Margaret are lifetime members of the Raytown Historical Society and have sponsored several other lifetime memberships.

Riley was a constant supporter of all schools, sports and activities attended by his daughters and grandchildren; which included purchasing choir robes, attending countless games, events, plays, rodeos, dance recitals and pageants. He and Margaret even hosted a cast party for 150 students of Raytown High School after the production of The Music Man. In 1995 Raytown High School awarded him with an honorary diploma. He was selected to throw out a first pitch at a Royals game saluting our armed forces and also participated in an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C. He was a member of Ascension Lutheran Church of Kansas City, Missouri.

His survivors include his wife Margaret, two daughters, Linda Riggs of Gardner, Kansas and Beverly Mettlen and her husband Dean of Raytown, Missouri. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Justin Mettlen and his wife Lorinda of Shawnee, Kansas, Lisa (Mettlen) Kearney and her husband Jason of Carmel, Indiana, Sarah (Riggs) Schartau and her husband Shane of Gardner, Kansas, one great-grandson Colby Schartau, as well as several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather Olin Hedgpeth, a brother William Riley, three nephews, three sister-in-laws and two brother-in-laws.

Private service will be held on Monday, May 18, 2020 at Park Lawn Funeral Home and burial at Memorial Park Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri. A Celebration of Life will be planned for a later date. To request notification about the Celebration of Life service send an email to [email protected]

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Ascension Lutheran Church or Friends of KC Animals.

Service Information

Private service will be held on Monday, May 18, 2020 at Park Lawn Funeral Home and burial at Memorial Park Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri. A Celebration of Life will be planned for a later date. To request notification about the Celebration of Life service send an email to [email protected]

Riley, Robert E.'s Guestbook

Remembering when Bob threw out the first pitch! Many good times drinking coffee with you. Will be missing a good friend.

Gary Egger

He had a good active life.

Phyllis and Delbert Kohl

Bob was always a hoot and we had fun listening to his stories from way back including the war. He was a good friend to many and helped build the town. Rest In Peace Bob You will be missed

Mike McDonough

Bev, I'm so sorry for your loss, at an especially hard time. My gosh your dad was an amazing man! Hardworking, creative, inventive, generous and loving and providing for his family and so supportive. Thank you for sharing his life with all. Keeping you close during this time and the time ahead. (Hug)


Hugs and prayers for your family. I remember the great smile he always had.

Barbara and Larry Evans

I only knew Robert through his daughter Linda Riggs, but he must have been a hell of father as Linda is a superb person. I send my warmest respects to the entire family.

Jeff Nessel

I'm so sorry for your loss and wish I could be there to give you all a hug. I know the last few months have been trying and I find it comforting to think that's he's upstairs with Mom, Dad, Aunt Helen, and Uncle Elmer playing pitch. Love you all and praying for you.

Linda Marie Moore

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