At the age of 95 years, Lee R. Riley died Dec. 23, 2013. He was born Oct. 3, 1918, on the family ranch near Lamar, Colo., to Lee R. Riley Sr. and Ella Rose Stuckey Riley. He graduated from Lamar High School in 1938. He lived with his sister in Wichita, Kan., while going to his beloved Wichita State University. He graduated in 1942, with a B.A. in geology. While in college, he met his wife, Ethel Carolyn McMahon, and they were married on Feb. 14, 1942.
Lee entered active military service with basic training at Camp Robertson, Ark., and officer training school at Camp Davis, N.C. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He entered France with Patton's 3rd Army, moved across France, Germany and entered Nuremberg on VE Day. He returned to the USA in November 1945 with a bronze star, and was honorably discharged in January 1946.
He went to work for Carter Oil Company as a geologist in Wichita, Kan., and after two years, transferred to Ardmore in 1948 during the oil boom. He was the district manager when Carter Oil Co. became part of Humble Oil and Refining Co. In 1965, the Ardmore office was closed and consolidated to Oklahoma City where Lee became an exploration manager. After five years, he took an early retirement and became an independent geologist.
While living in Ardmore, Lee was president of the Lions Club, headed the United Fund, and was vice president of the YMCA Board of Directors. He was a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists since 1954, a member of the Ardmore Geological Society since 1948, became an honorary member of the Oklahoma City Geology Society in 1965, a member of the Society of Independent Earth Scientists, an ordained Deacon, Elder and Trustee in the Presbyterian Church, and was a docent at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
He and Carolyn were married for 56 years before her passing in 1998. They both loved to play golf, travel and took extensive trips visiting all of the continents except for Antarctica. For 11 years they treasured the family ski trips to Colorado the day after Christmas.
He is survived by his four children, Pat Simmons and her husband, Ken, of Tulsa, Jean Dunlap and her husband, Baillie, of Oklahoma City, Mike Riley of Oklahoma City, Janet Earlywine and her husband, Art, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Lee had nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Wichita State University Foundation, Hospice Quality Care Inc. or the charity of your choice.
Viewing will be at Memorial Park Funeral Home from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Memorial services will be held Monday, Dec. 30, at 11 a.m. at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery, 13313 N. Kelley Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73131, (405) 755-1111.
Visit Lee's online memorial at www.MemorialParkOKC.com.