East Greenbush - Henry C. “Mike” Riley Jr., 81, a longtime resident of Columbia Turnpike, died suddenly at his residence, Friday, December 29, 2017, following a lengthy illness.
Born in Whitehall, July 27, 1936, Mike was the son of the late Master Sgt. Henry Charles “Mike” Riley and Mary VanGuider Riley and for many years the husband of the late Lucille (Koerner) Riley who passed away in 2004.
Henry attended Whitehall Schools. On October 13, 1953, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. After basic training he was ordered to the Warren Air Base in Wyoming and attended technical schools where he excelled in the study of radio relay systems operations and repair. He was later sent to German as part of the U.S. occupying forces following World War II where he served for over three years tracking radio traffic and intelligence messages during the initial stages of the “Cold War.” On August 7, 1957, he was honorably discharged as an Airman 1st Class.
Upon his return he was an Albany Fireman and then went on to apprentice as a clockmaker, working under the direction of the former Julian Clock Shop in Albany before establishing his own business as master clock maker and repair shop owner. After several years of operation, he closed the shop and accepted a position as a machinist and toolmaker at the General Electric Company’s Turbine Division in Schenectady and retired on March 1, 1995. He then went on to drive a school bus for the Averill Park School District.
Mr. Riley is survived by a stepson, Russell Sperry of Circle, Alaska, a sister and two brothers-in-law, Thon (Timothy) Gebo of Whitehall and Michael Reed of Canon, GA, nieces and nephews, Mary (Ric) Dworakowski of Troy, Everett Mansfield (Kevin Abraszek) of Brooklyn, Deborah (Harold Sr.) Crandall of Melrose, Marty (Sandy) Horan of KY and Mike Horan of GA, Maureen Sommer and Stacy Gebo both of NC, Timothy (Kathleen) Gebo of Glens Falls, Kim (Kevin) Hedley of Ballston Lake. Several great nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents and wife he was predeceased by two sisters, Jean Herald-Kobasa, Patricia Horan-Reed, sister-in-law Maybelle Leigh, a step-son, Douglas Sperry and nephews Ray Leigh, Ronald Herald & Korey Briggs.
A funeral service is being planned for the spring of 2018 at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Wynantskill, with burial to follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Troy.
Memorial contributions if desired may be made to the American Heart Association, 4 Atrium Drive, Suite 100, Albany, New York 12205 in memory of Henry C. “Mike” Riley Jr.
Funeral service details are under the direction of the Howard B. Tate & Son Funeral Home Inc., 2237 NY Route 7, located in Raymertown, NY 12180.