John Riley
John Riley

Obituary of John Jack Riley

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John (Jack) Riley, Sr. 80, of Sullivan passed away Thursday, April 22. Jack was born October 16, 1929 in Providence, RI , the son of Edward and Gladys (Hunt) Riley. He married Irene Keates and they settled in the historic district of Furnace Village in Easton, Massachusetts. This is where they raised their two sons, John, (Jack) Jr. and Thomas. A self-made man, Jack embarked upon numerous ventures throughout his life and was successful at all of them. He raised chickens and maintained an egg delivery route for several years before getting into the building trade. He became an accomplished builder and along with his brother Jim, they formed Riley Brothers Custom Builders. He built homes and sold real estate from the South Shore of Boston to Cape Cod. Jack opened United Auto at the 5 Corners in Easton in 1967. Along with other enterprises during that time he operated a snow plow business with a fleet of trucks that expanded to 7. After the blizzard of ‘78 he decided he’d plowed enough snow. Once his sons became active in United Auto he knew he could turn it over to them to operate and thought “what next?”. Jack decided he’d get into the restaurant business. There was a lovely old building at the 5 Corners that had always caught his eye. He bought the property and after a 2 year foundation-up restoration the 1882 House opened as Easton’s Oldest and Newest restaurant! The 320 seat restaurant became infamous to the South Shore of Boston many years until he sold it in1983 and retired to Maine. Having been visiting the Sullivan area for years with his hunting buddies, Jack built a lovely post and beam home next to the old hunting camp. Sullivan would become the place of his retirement. He loved the people and the landscape and it wasn’t long before he decided, “ if I’m living on the coast of Maine, I should be a lobsterman”. So he bought a lobster boat and fished throughout Frenchman’s Bay. Today there stands a beautiful lighthouse on the tidal falls of Frenchman’s Bay in Sullivan; it’s the lighthouse that Jack built. He served on numerous boards and committees for the town he loved including code enforcement officer, planning board member, selectman, assessor, building inspector, and as advisor to many. He also served on the board of directors for the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. He was a Mason and a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He spent his winters in Zephyrhills, Florida where he met and enjoyed the company of many dear friends. He is survived by his two sons, Jack Riley, Jr. and wife Fran of Belfast, Thomas M. Riley and wife Lorraine, of Hancock, loving sister Dorothy and her husband Larry Tufts of Wolfeboro, NH, sisters-in-law Barbara Riley of MA, and Dorothy Riley of GA, and special dear friends Lynn and Pat Dunbar of Sullivan. He was predeceased by his wife and brothers, Albert and James. Graveside services will be held at Grove Cemetery in Belfast on Sunday, April 25th at 2:00 PM with Pastor Storm Gould officiating. All are welcome to a celebration of his life which will be held at Fox Landing Restaurant, Route 1 Belfast, immediately following graveside services. Arrangements are under the care of Crabiel-Riposta Funeral Home Belfast, Maine. Online condolences may be offered to the family at
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John Riley

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John Riley

1929 - 2010

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