Janet F. Riley

Janet F. RileyFormer Ridgecrest resident Janet F. Riley passed away peacefully Aug. 22, 2019, after valiantly battling vascular dementia. She was 83 and lived in Granite Bay.

Janet Marie Fryrear was born April 29, 1936, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Homer and Edna Fryrear.

An only child, she enjoyed dancing, performing in musical theater and cheerleading at Franklin High School (Class of ’54). She studied education as an undergraduate at Coe College (Cedar Rapids).

While representing her sorority (Delta Delta Delta), she was voted homecoming queen for 1955. The young man responsible for driving her in the parade turned out to be the student body president. His name was Paul Riley. They were married July 5, 1958.

Janet earned a master’s degree from the University of Indiana in Bloomington. She was an elementary school teacher in Long Beach and San Diego while Paul was stationed in the Navy.

They enjoyed time at Pauma Valley resort on weekends where Paul was the “piano man” in the bar and Gary Player gave them each a set of golf clubs.

They moved to Ridgecrest in 1967, when Paul was hired as an instructor of psychology and music at the Desert Division of Bakersfield College (eventually renamed Cerro Coso). Jan went back to teaching elementary school for Sierra Sands Unified School District in 1979 and retired when Paul did in 1996. She taught school for 28 years.

Janet loved her four grandchildren to pieces. She constantly read to them and took them to appointments, lessons, sporting events, the bus stop and musicals.

She literally moved to the other side of the country and back to be with her family, eventually settling in the Sacramento area. She enjoyed watching the Sacramento Kings and doing activities with the kids.

Janet is survived by her son, Damon Riley and wife Amy of Granite Bay; and four grandchildren, Brenna Riley, Alec Riley, Julia Riley and Vivian Riley.

She was preceded in death by her husband Paul Riley; her “daddy” Homer Fryrear and her mother Edna Fryrear.

Janet’s wishes were to be cremated with her ashes spread at Desert Memorial Park.

— Submitted by the family of Janet Riley

Story First Published: 2019-08-30