A graveside ceremony honoring and remembering the life of Auther Lee "Art" Riley will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at the New Bethel Cemetery in Gilkey, Arkansas. The family will receive visitors from 2-4 PM Monday at the Cornwell Funeral Home in Danville, Arkansas.
Local arrangements have been entrusted to Rice Funeral Service.
Born March 17, 1943 in Danville, Arkansas, Art was the son of Jeff and Amy Elmore Riley. He was one of five children raised on their family farm near Gilkey. Art graduated with the Class of 1961.
Following high school, he helped his father build a house on some land passed down in the family. He also spent some time working for a construction company in Little Rock prior to enlisting in the United States Navy.
Art studied Forestry at the University of Hawaii while serving all over the Pacific. It was during his military tenure that he was introduced to Cathie Reed.
Interestingly, Art and Cathie were introduced on a blind date by another couple, Art and Cathie's best friends. Cathie knew he was "the one" when she first gazed into his blue eyes.
The couple would write each other continually and spend time dating when his military leave permitted them to do so.
He was honorably discharged in 1966 and the couple married January 20, 1967. They just celebrated 50 wonderful years together.
Most of Art's career was spent gainfully employed by American Airlines.
He moved to Oklahoma in 1985 to work as an aircraft mechanic and retired as a quality assurance inspector in 2009. Art loved aviation and spent many hours flying airplanes.
He learned to fly while working at Central Flying Service in Little Rock. He also was employed by Weyerhaeuser early in his career where he worked in maintenance, as well as a pilot.
Art was known by many to be fair-minded and well balanced.
No matter what, he always told the truth. Art was mechanically inclined and known for his ability to build most anything. Many great memories were made with his son, Chad during their fishing trips to Arkansas.
Later in life, Art really enjoyed politics and staying current on events discussed in the media. He knew the stories well and his opinions were well respected by all who knew him. In fact, Art was recently encouraged to run for political office. He will be dearly missed by numerous friends and family whom he loved dearly.
Surviving family members include his wife Cathie Riley of Claremore; his son Chad Michael Riley of Mount Prospect, IL; and his two brothers: Carlton Riley of Gilkey, AR; and Joe Riley of Scottdale, PA. Art was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Shirley Melton; and his brother Rickey Riley.
Published on April 14, 2017