Cover photo for William "Bill" Gerald Riley's Obituary
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1949 William "Bill" Gerald Riley 2023

William "Bill" Gerald Riley

December 5, 1949 — September 29, 2023


William "Bill" Gerald Riley, a beloved figure in the sports community and a devoted member of his church, passed away peacefully at his residence on September 29, 2023. Bill was born on December 5, 1949, in Bastrop, Louisiana, to Clinton and Ruby (Ashley) Riley.

Bill's passion for sports led him to become a dedicated high school coach for over 28 years. He was known for his attention to detail and unwavering commitment to his players. Bill's dedication was evident in the care he took in maintaining the football field's green grass by waking up at 2 AM to move the rain train. Beyond coaching, he also worked as a sporting goods salesman for over 12 years, sharing his knowledge and love for athletics with others.

Faith played a significant role in Bill's life. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Wynne, Arkansas, for many years. Bill served as the head usher and strongly believed in giving everyone an opportunity to serve. This inclusive philosophy resonated not only within the church but also during his coaching career.  Upon moving to Benton, Arkansas, Bill became a member of Benton First United Methodist Church. 

Despite his quiet and reserved nature, Bill fostered many deep connections throughout his life. He found solace in taking care of his yard and enjoying the simple pleasures of mowing. These peaceful moments allowed him time for reflection and embraced the tranquility he treasured.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Emily Mullins Riley of Benton, Arkansas; daughter Caitlin Marley and her husband Kyle of Benton, Arkansas; sisters Susie Platt of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Lisa Adams and her husband Barry of West Memphis, Arkansas; sister-in-law Jane Thompson and her husband KennE of Wynne, Arkansas. Additionally, he leaves behind a host of family and friends who hold a special place in their hearts for Bill and will miss him dearly.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Clinton and Ruby Riley, and brother Butch Riley.

The memorial service to celebrate Bill's life will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at Smith-Benton Funeral Home Benton, located at 322 N Market Street, Benton, AR 72015. The service will begin at 1:00 PM.

Memorials may be made in Bill's honor to First United Methodist Church of Wynne at 800 Falls Blvd, Wynne, AR 72396 to assist in rebuilding. 

As we bid farewell to Bill Riley, we carry with us the memories of his selflessness, dedication, and quiet strength. He leaves behind a legacy that has touched the lives of many. May his spirit continue to inspire us as we remember him fondly.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William "Bill" Gerald Riley, please visit our flower store.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home Benton

322 N Market Street, Benton, AR 72015

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