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American Veteran 02

William Wes Riley

August 5, 1929 ~ May 16, 2020 (age 90)


William “Wes” Riley, 90, of Cordell, passed away May 16, 2020, at the Cordell Christian Home in Cordell. He was born August 5, 1929 in Welch (Bluejacket), OK to Earl Sylvester and Daisy May Riley. Wes was the 6th of 12 children and grew up in the Welch area. After working many years on the family farm, in 1946 he took a job working on the Mitchell Ranch in the area. In 1947, Wes enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a Sergeant with the 536 and 504 Engineers, in Kaiserslaughtern and Bremerhaven, Germany.

After returning home Wes married his love, Janie Velma Gross on June 19, 1954 in Coffeyville, Kansas. For 35 years, he was an out of state trucker, working for Page Milk Co. of Coffeyville, KS & Tulsa, OK; Zirkel Trucking Co. of Liberal, KS; and BFI Co. of Tulsa, OK. From 1988 to 1990 Wes competed in the National BFI Truck & Equipment Rodeo and won first place in 1988 and 2nd place in the International competition, which included competitors from Europe, South America, and Canada.

Wes retired from trucking in 1993 and moved to Cordell to spend more time with his grandchildren, and to help his daughter Debbie Holland and son-in-law Anthony with their businesses. Wes worked as a full-time employee of Anthony Holland Tool Sales, an Authorized Snap-on Tools dealer, and enjoyed his customers for many years – many customers considering Wes a dear friend. In 1998, Wes and Janie became the AARP Chapter 2215 President and Vice President of Cordell and held office for many years. In 2009, Wes became the full-time care giver of his wife Janie until her death. Wes loved and was loved by his family, friends, former customers, and those who had the pleasure to know him. Those who knew Wes knew him to be the sweetest and kindest man they had met. He always gave of himself, his time, and his sense of humor and quick smile to those he cared for and anyone needing his help.

Wes was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Janie; six brothers, Linnie, Arthur, James, Gerald, John, and Earl; sister, Annabell; and son-in-law, Anthony Holland. Wes is survived by his daughter, Debbie Holland; grandson Austin Holland; grandson Daltin Holland and wife Lisa; and great-grandson and great-granddaughter, Paytin and Camber. He is also survived by his brother, Dan Riley & wife Helen; sister, Alta Mae Nolte; sister, Martha Shufeldt and husband Carl;

sister, Marie Volz and husband Richard; and a host of nephews, nieces, and other family members on the Riley and Gross sides.

A memorial service will be held at a later date in Coffeyville KS. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to his church: The Way Church-Cordell Campus, P.O. Box 1753, Elk City, OK 73648. To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit www.fordwulfbrunschapel.com 

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