(Jan. 13, 1932 - Nov. 26, 2010)Marilyn “Lyn” Ann (Fellrath) Riley, 78, of Cody died peacefully in her home at Golden Key Ranch Nov. 26, 2010, with her loving family by her side.
Marilyn Ann was the third child born to Margaret (Kirk) and Francis Fellrath on Jan. 13, 1932, at Dearborn General Hospital, Dearborn, Mich. She and her older siblings, Robert and Dorothy, lived on their deceased grandfather Fellrath's farm in Inkster, Mich.
When Lyn was 9, the Fellrath family moved from Inkster to Dearborn, Mich., where her father had founded the second largest lumber company in southeast Michigan.
Everything in the Fellrath household centered on religion.
Lyn, who was always interested in ballet and the piano, attended Sacred Heart School for nine years, then attended high school at St. Josephs Academy in Adrian, Mich.
She wanted to attend Michigan State University but her mother preferred a private college, so Lyn enrolled at Siena Heights University (College), across campus from the Academy. She transferred to St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Ind., in her junior year. She graduated from St. Mary's College with a degree in home economics.
Lyn's mother, who died of colon cancer at 46, had always wanted Marilyn to graduate from college. So upon graduation from St. Mary's, Marilyn presented her diploma to her father reminding him that the document was for her mother, because, in truth, Lyn never liked school.
While attending St. Mary's, she met Victor “Vic” Riley from Buffalo, N.Y.
They began dating, walking to town in order to save 25 cents. Vic proposed marriage to Lyn before their senior year of college. They were married after graduation in Sacred Heart Church, Dearborn, Mich., Aug. 8, 1953.
When Victor was drafted into the Korean War, and during his six weeks training at Camp Gordon, Ga., Lyn lived with his parents in Buffalo. She was pregnant at the time. She later joined him at Fort Eustis, Va., where their son Victor, Jr., was born in an Army hospital on a day her husband was on guard duty.
After Victor left the Army, the family moved to Miami, Fla., where Victor became a trainee in the First National Bank of Miami, and their daughter Karen was born. They then moved to Albany, N.Y., where children Patty Jo, Kevin, Shawn and Mary Kay were born.
Their summers were often spent at a farm the family owned near Cooperstown, N.Y.
Lyn was a born designer, and her love of beauty and innate sense of design touched every aspect of her life, in particular creating and sewing clothes for herself and the children, designing the interiors of homes and offices, co-designing with Victor many travel adventures, and designing a ranch home on 1,000 acres in the shadow of Castle Rock, near Cody.
Lyn was a woman of faith reflecting her early years of Catholic formation. Lyn was a very holy woman throughout her lifetime. In her later years she worshiped in her private chapel located in her Cody home. Her faith helped her to embrace challenging health issues in her later years. when she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Lyn frequently accompanied her husband on business trips, and they traveled the world. They sometimes spent months living in Aruba, and she discovered favorite places in Tuscany, Italy and China.
Lyn continued to be thankful for all the love and happiness she shared with Victor.
She is survived by her loving husband, Victor J. Riley Jr.; children, Colonel Victor Riley III, U.S.M.C. (ret.) (Lesley); Karen (Ernie) Riley-Olmstead; Patty Jo Toor (Larry); Kevin Riley (Laurie); Shawn Riley (Patty); and Mary Katherine Gibson (Dave); grandchildren, Victor Riley IV; Courtney Riley; Stacey Bove; Michael Bove; Rachel Riley-Toor; Neil Toor; Sean Toor; Kevin Riley Jr.; Alexandra Riley; Caitlyn Riley; Matthew Riley; Shawn Riley Jr.; Megan Riley; Amanda Riley; Jonathon Riley; and Ryan Riley. She is also survived by her dearest siblings, brother, Robert Fellrath, and sister, Dorothy Finnerty.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
There will be a prayer vigil/rosary, 4-6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 1333 Monument St., Cody, with a Celebration of Life also at St. Anthony's at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 1. Interment immediately follows at Riverside Cemetery in Cody.
Memorials in Lyn's name can be made to the Boys & Club, 308 16th St., Cody, WY, 82414, and Crisis Intervention Services, 1220 13th Street, Cody, WY, 82414.