Obituary for Ryan Brett Riley
SUBLETTE - Ryan Brett Riley, age 48, passed away Sunday, July 9th, 2017 at St. Catherine Hospital, Garden City, Kansas. He was born on September 22, 1968 in Spokane, Washington to John Edward and Penelope Ann (Paulsen) Riley. Ryan graduated from Sarasota High School, Sarasota, Florida in 1988. He married Elizabeth Lynn Jewett on August 13, 2000 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Pastor Ryan grew up in a military home where he learned the value of hard work and leading by example. He demonstrated these traits when he enlisted in the U.S. Army prior to graduating from high school. While in Basic Training in Oklahoma, Pastor Ryan suffered his first military “wound” when he angered a tarantula by sitting on it and required medical attention to treat the bite. He went on to be stationed at Furth Army Base in Nuremberg, Germany. Following an honorable discharge from the Army, Pastor Ryan continued his German experience by working for Eurowings in operations control and air traffic control.
After hearing God’s call to ministry, Pastor Ryan landed at the Lowry Park Church in Tampa, FL. This church was his first of many as he proceeded to minister in Florida, South Carolina, Washington, Texas and Kansas. He even took on the challenge of a church-plant in Sedro-Woolley, WA. Through these moves, Pastor Ryan touched many lives and gave much of himself to the communities he served. His final calling was at the Sublette Christian Church where his influence will be remembered long into the future. He wore multiple hats; in addition to being a pastor, he served as a firefighter, EMS responder, deputy sheriff and summer camp manager. Pastor Riley’s security work allowed him some unique experiences such as providing security for several celebrities including Janet Jackson, Metallica, and WWE stars Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker as well as for a haunted house attraction.
Pastor Ryan worked hard in the communities he served to break down all types of barriers so that each individual was included. He knew that progress could be made when everyone worked together toward a common goal. Ministering to youth excited Pastor Ryan. He dedicated himself to projects such as managing youth summer camps, serving as chaplain for high school football teams, working with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and coordinating a toy drive at Christmas. He also coached Ashley’s softball team and loved it when she would have a great hit right after he said something to make her mad.
There were many passions in Pastor Ryan’s life. God and family were first and foremost, but he also loved horses, the outdoors and the South Carolina Gamecocks. Being a horseman didn’t come naturally for Pastor Ryan. He was initially scared of them, but with help from a lady named Doris, he conquered his fear and soon intensely loved horses. He enjoyed fishing while living in Washington. Just as Doris influenced Pastor Ryan’s love of horses, a little boy named Bayler Teal and a football team fueled his passionate love of the South Carolina Gamecocks. Bayler was only seven years old when neuroblastoma took his life, but before his passing he had been embraced by the Gamecock teams. The love shown to Bayler and his family by the team inspired Pastor Ryan and made him a dedicated fan for life.
Ryan is survived by his devoted wife, Elizabeth Riley of Sublette, Ks; his daughter, Cheyenne Ashley Riley of Sublette, Ks; his loving mother Penelope “Penny” Treadwell and husband Thomas of Brooksville, Fl; a sister, Heather Hammond and husband Thomas of Pace, Fl; a niece, Elizabeth Hammond; a nephew, John Thomas Hammond.
He is preceded in death by his father, John Edward Riley.
A Celebration of Life will be 10:30 am Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 at the Sublette Christian Church, 106 W. Carson Sublette, Ks 67877. Cremation has taken place.
Suggested memorial contributions are to the Ryan Riley Fund in care of Weeks Family Funeral Home & Crematory, PO Box 1200, Sublette, Ks 67877. Condolences may be left online at WeeksFamilyFuneralHome.com