The world lost a generous human being and a pretty good golfer when Tom Riley died March 5, following a heart attack. Tom was surrounded by his family at the time of his death.
Thomas George Riley was born in Mankato on July 18, 1953. He graduated from Mankato High School in 1971 and from Mankato State University in 1975 with a B.S. in Business Administration/Accounting.
He became a Certified Public Accountant and moved to the Twin Cities, where he served in financial positions from 1975-1989 at Grant Thornton, Republic Airlines, United Health Care-Physicians Health Plan, and Whitney & Associates. In 1989, Tom returned to Mankato to join Hickory Tech Corporation and its subsidiary organizations, serving as Vice President of Sales & Marketing until 1997. He continued in the telecommunications field with his next position at Midwest Wireless, where Tom served as Vice President of Market Operations/Customer Care until 2007 and was integral in the company's rapid growth.
Tom was particularly passionate about regional economic development. When he retired from Midwest Wireless, it wasn't long before he joined Greater Mankato Growth as Director of New Business Development until his final retirement in 2015.
Many who have had the privilege of working with Tom consider him a wise mentor, who always saw and brought out the best in everyone. His down-to-earth nature earned him the respect of those at all levels of the organization. Tom's selfless dedication, patience and modesty were appreciated and admired by his business colleagues and community members alike.
Tom was dedicated to his family. He married his high school sweetheart, Corrine Gould (better known as Corrie), on December 14,1973. He was proud of his two children, Seth and Kelsey, and coached Kelsey in softball and Seth in baseball and hockey, even though he had never played hockey himself. Tom took delight in his recent role as a grandfather to Seth's children Katana and Keegan.
Tom had an extraordinary commitment to his community and neighbors. He volunteered tirelessly for many causes, including serving on the Boards of The Immanuel St. Joseph (ISJ) Foundation, Greater Mankato United Way, Greater Mankato Development Corporation, Mankato Regional Airport Commission, and most recently with the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota.
While not working, volunteering, or spending time with his family, Tom's passion was golf. He was the reigning champion of the One Dog Tourney and had two holes-in-one in his lifetime. He was also a big fan of MSU Maverick Hockey and helped organize the MSU Blue Line Golf Tournament.
Tom is survived by his wife, Corrie Riley; children, Seth Riley (Crystal) and Kelsey Riley; grandchildren, Katana and Keegan Riley; siblings, Mary Oney, Peggy Johns and Dan (Kristi) Riley; and brother-in-law, Brian (Lori) Gould; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Gretchen Riley of Mankato; in-laws, Edith Gould and Fritz Gould; siblings, Kathy (Tom) McArthur and Nancy Sullivan; niece, Heather Oney; and nephew, Alex Johns.
A celebration of Tom's life will be held Monday, March 13, at the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota (224 Lamm St., Mankato) at 2:00 pm. Attendees are encouraged to share a story about Tom at this time. From 3:00 to 5:00 there will be an opportunity to greet Tom's family and to swap golf stories and remembrances with other friends of Tom. Light refreshments will be served.
Memorials in honor of Tom are preferred to the Greater Mankato United Way, (www.mankatounitedway.org), Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota (www.southernmn.org), or Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society (www.benchs.org).
Published on March 7, 2017