William John “Bill” Riley III

William John “Bill” Riley III

October 12, 1945 - July 31, 2022

William John “Bill” Riley III

October 12, 1945 - July 31, 2022

Obituary

William John Riley, III (Bill)
October 12, 1945 – July 31, 2022

William John Riley, III (Bill) passed away from a short illness on July 31, 2022 at home with his family in Capistrano Beach, CA.

He leaves behind his wife of 54 years Maureen (McCoy) Riley, a daughter Megan Riley, a grandson River Francis, sister Patricia Wheway, brother Kevin Riley, and many beloved nieces and nephews and many adored friends from each coast and in between.

Bill grew up in Milford, Connecticut, attended Jonathan Law High School, and then attended and graduated from Southern Connecticut State College.

He taught art at Roosevelt School in Bridgeport, Conn. for seven years before he was accepted into the Masters of Fine Art program at Tulane University in New Orleans, and received his MFA in drawing and printmaking.

He was a professor of art at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA and taught beginning drawing and printmaking there for 42 years until his retirement.

In 1988 he went on Sabbatical and was invited to Picasso’s studio, and gave lectures and workshops at the Sorbonne’, University of Edinburgh and many others.

There will be a celebration of life on October 23, 2022, from 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. at the San Juan Hills Golf Club and invitations will be sent at a later date.

At the age of 3, Bill picked up a graphite pencil and a baseball bat (albeit not at the same time), and fell in love with both.

Bill started drawing at age 3 and never was without a handy drawing pencil throughout his life. When he discovered printmaking, that too became a life long love. Not only did he love producing art, but he loved teaching it, and helping others find their talent and worth.

His other love was the game of baseball, especially his beloved Yankees, and he played until he was 50 years old! He was a fan of the game until the end. His daughter Megan and him would talk sports for hours – him about baseball and her about football.

Bill also established a love-hate relationship with the game of golf in his 20’s, which lasted well into his 70’s, when his back rebelled against the game.

Bill also taught himself how to play the guitar, attended classes at Saddleback, and had a lovely collection. He thought he was the modern day Bob Dylan.

Through his love of art, teaching, and sports, he had the extreme pleasure of making so many cherished friends, many who surrounded his family with love, and we thank you all immensely for that.

 

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” – Babe Ruth

 

Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life” – Pablo Picasso

Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: October 23, 2022 (1:00 PM - 5:00 PM)
  • Venue: San Juan Hills Golf Club
  • Location: 32120 San Juan Creek Rd. San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 - (Get Directions)

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5 responses to William John “Bill” Riley III

  1. Dear Maureen, Megan and River,
    There are so many more words to describe how much we loved Bill and miss him, but for now I chose the fire cracker candle to describe today’s feelings. It puts a smile on my face when I think of Bill and the sparks of joy he brought to the neighborhood. No one like him. Tony and I miss him dearly. Lots of hugs.

  2. Richard Reilly says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. Dear Maureen,Meg ,and River,

  4. Priscilla Riley says:

    Dear Maureen and family,
    A fitting obituary for cousin Bill. Our hearts and prayers are with you.
    Love,Priscilla Riley and family.

  5. Marcia Milchiker says:

    Dear Maureen,
    I’m so sorry to learn of the passing of our wonderful Bill. Please accept our sincere condolences. I am adjourning the Board of Trustee meeting this evening in his memory. I will do my best to convey what a remarkable person he was.
    Love to you and your family,
    Marcia Milchiker
    Board of Trustees President South Orange County Community College District

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