American Veteran 01

Francis X Riley Sr.

February 22, 1924 ~ January 1, 2020 (age 95)

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RILEY, Francis X Sr. of Milton, formerly of Hyde Park, January 1st, age 95.  Beloved husband of the late Thelma R. (Dower). 

Frank was born on February 22, 1924 in Boston, Massachusetts to Frank and Lillian Beck. He was the third of four children. Sissy, Arthur, Frank and Donnie grew up in Roxbury and attended St. Patrick’s elementary school. Frank loved playing with his older brother, Arthur. They shared a paper route, and helped their father who was a Teamster take care of the horses on weekends.  Frank attended Boston English High School and shortly after graduation in 1942, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.  After boot camp, Frank was sent to the Pacific where he participated in several operations. After the war, Frank returned to Paris Island S.C. where he became a Drill Instructor. After his discharge as a sergeant in 1944, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve. Frank continued to proudly serve in the 1st Battalion 25th Marines for over twenty years eventually becoming battalion Sgt. Major. He then spent several years as regimental Sgt. Major. During one of the early reserve training camps, Frank met the love of his life Thelma Dower on Virginia Beach. They were married shortly thereafter, moved to Boston and bought a house on Austin Street in Hyde Park where they lived for over 50 years. Thelma and Frank had four children, Frank Jr, Kathy, Terry and John. When he wasn’t selling insurance for John Hancock, serving in the Marine Reserves, Frank enjoyed many hours watching and coaching his kids play various sports.  He also became a valued member of the Most Precious Blood Parish community, serving as athletic director for the CYO, joined the Holy Name Society and was long time lector at Sunday masses. For over forty years he was also a mainstay for the Marine Reserves Toys for Tots program in Boston.

Frank loved the beach and spent many enjoyable hours during the summer on Nantasket Beach. He always said “saltwater is good for you and can cure anything.” In retirement, Frank and They were able to spend more than twenty winters in New Smyrna Beach Florida at the Colony Beach Club where they made many, many new friends.  In their later years they moved to Fuller Village where they developed new friendships. This also gave Frank access to a swimming pool which he used several times a week for most of his time there.

Frank loved many things during his life, the Church, the Marines, his friends, the beach, books, the sun, the pool etc. But the most important thing in his life was family. Frank did a lot of things well but the thing he did best was loving his family.  He loved his parents, brothers and sister, his wife, his kids, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren, his nieces and nephews with all his heart. The Marine Corps motto is Semper Fi, or always faithful which describes how Frank lived his life.

  Funeral from the Carroll-Thomas Funeral Home, 22 Oak Street, Hyde Park, MA Monday morning at 9 followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Most Precious Blood Church at 10AM.  Visiting hours Sunday evening from 3 to 6PM.  Relatives and friends invited.  Interment at St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury, MA.  Donations may be made to Toys for Tots, 21 Drydock Ave, Boston Ma. 02210

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Francis X Riley Sr., please visit our floral store.


Visiting Hours
January 5, 2020

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Carroll-Thomas Funeral Home
22 Oak Street
Hyde Park, MA 02136

Mass of Christian Burial
January 6, 2020

10:00 AM
Most Precious Blood Church
43 Maple Street
Hyde Park, MA 02136

January 6, 2020

St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury, MA

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