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Burlan R. Riley

September 26, 1927 ~ August 25, 2018 (age 90)

            Burlan R. “Babe” Riley, age 90 of Beardstown, died Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Heritage Health in Beardstown.

            He was born September 26, 1927 in Beardstown, the son of Arthur Lee and Gertrude Jones Riley. He married Mary Scheel and she preceded him in death in 1996.

            He is survived by his daughter Mary Eileen Hill (companion Dennis Morath) of Arenzville; 10 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren; two sisters Harriet Lee of Beardstown and Lela May Hayhurst of Waldorf, MD; and several nieces and nephews.

            He was preceded in death by his grandparents William and Nellie May Riley, his parents, his wife, three sons Tim, David, and Dan Riley, a daughter Julie Ann Riley, and four brothers William, Charles, and Lionel “Bumps” Riley, and Jimmy Riley in infancy.

            Burlan graduated from Beardstown in the class of 1945. He served in the United States Navy during World War II on the USS Roosevelt, and later, during the Korean Conflict. He attended the Congregational Church in Beardstown, was a member of the Beardstown Moose Lodge, and Guthrie Pierce VFW Post #1239 in Beardstown. In his younger years, Burlan worked as a fry cook and pin setter at the Bowling Alley, and also for the Railroad. After 31 years, he retired from Fiat Allis in Springfield as a Machinist, and for 13 years was Mayor of Naples. He enjoyed fishing, boating, fixing lawn mowers, and playing cards. He cherished every moment spent with his family.

            A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:30 AM Friday, August 31, 2018 at Colwell Memorial Home in Beardstown. Burial will be held at a later date. The family will meet with friends half hour prior to the services at the memorial home on Friday.

            Memorials have been suggested to Meredosia Food Bank. Condolences may be left online at

Donations may be made to:

Meredosia Food Bank
PO Box 41, Meredosia IL 62665

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