Riley was born and grew up in Powell Butte, Oregon. He attended grade school there then moved on to Redmond High School. In 1953 he married Joyce Carr. He was on the Redmond Police Force for a time and spent two years in the U.S. Army. After the Army he and his family moved to southern Oregon where he lived in Grants Pass, then the Medford area. He worked construction and had two small-equipment services, R&J Earthboring and Riley's Backhoe Service. He was also co-owner of Quality Fence Co. In 2006, he and Joyce moved to Lowell, Oregon, where three of his children live.

He is survived by his wife; his four children and their spouses, Bobbie (Michael), JoAnn (Dave), Larry (Robin), and John (Keely). He was preceded in death by his parents, Gladys and Alvin Riggs; one sister, Alyse; five brothers, Robert, Frances, Evert, Jim, and John; and one grandson, Aaron.

There will be an informal gathering at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, May 27, 2017 at the Powell Butte Cemetery.