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Riley, Mary Helen

(December 23rd, 2023)

It is with deepest and heartfelt sadness we announce that Mom peacefully passed into the loving arms of God at the age of 90 years. Born on the family homestead into a supportive community of Slovak immigrant farmers in Shutty Bench, Mom learned the value of hard work and “love thy neighbor” at an early age. Not straying too far from her birth roots, Mom married and raised her children on a strong foundation of family, faith, and friends in the neighboring village of Kaslo. She was involved in her community and volunteered her time with the Canadian Legion and Catholic Woman’s League. She also helped pioneer in the era of the “working Moms” and ended her career with West Kootenay Power, a job she fondly reminisced about many years after her retirement.

Mom eventually moved to Nelson to enjoy her final years closer to her family. She loved a good joke, a good laugh, spending time with family and friends, and practicing her unwavering Catholic religion and faith in God. She also found enjoyment in music and dancing which had her tapping her toes to the end and was affectionately called the “dancing queen” by the Mtn Lakes Staff.

Mom lovingly leaves behind and will be greatly missed by her children; Clint, Donna (Len), Ken (Edel), and Dianne; grandchildren Eric, Kevin and Dean Thompson, Dakota, McKenna and Curran Carlson, Mary Kate and Conall Riley and great-grandchildren Reese and Karsyn Thompson. Mom will now join her heavenly family; husband, Orval Riley; parents Anna Turcak and Louis Furiak; siblings Louise Shutty, Julia Johnson and Joe Furiak; and step-father Steve Turcak.

Deepest gratitude to Lakeview Village and Mtn. Lakes staff and Dr. Janz for their caring support in allowing Mom to live her final years with dignity and respect. Special thanks also to Thompson Funeral Service for their compassionate support in managing the cremation. Family internment of ashes to follow in the spring in the Nelson Memorial Cemetery.

God Bless and God Speed Mom. May you forever dance across the heavens, laugh at the moon, and sing to the stars until we meet again.


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