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Fred Riley - January 02, 2014


Fred Allen Riley died Jan. 2, 2014. He was born Feb. 14, 1948, in El Paso, Texas. He was adopted from the hospital and went home with Robert and Dorothy Riley. They lived in Ruidoso, N.M., until Fred was 8 years old, when he moved with his mother to Haxtun.

He attended Haxtun Grade School and graduated from Haxtun High School in 1966. He played football, played in the band and played Legion baseball during the summer. He graduated from Northeastern Junior College with a turf management degree.

Fred married Marilee Poe on Aug. 24, 1969. They had two children, Scott and Beth. The family lived and farmed in the Pleasant Valley community. Later they moved to Holyoke, where Fred owned and operated Fred’s Sweet Shop. Along with living in Holyoke, they had lived in Greeley, Leadville, Buena Vista and Delta, moving back to the plains to Fort Morgan in 2010.

Fred enjoyed sports all of his life. He played softball well into his adult life. He served on the Pleasant Valley Ballpark Board, Phillips County Fair Board and Soil Conservation Board. He was a member of Northeast Colorado Wool Growers and Colorado Wool Growers associations, holding offices in both organizations.

Even though Fred and Marilee left farming in the early ’80s, Fred stayed involved in the agriculture field driving trucks and applying crop chemicals. After moving to Fort Morgan, Fred became an avid fan of local dirt track racing.

Close to the end of his life, Fred finally gave up climbing in and out of trucks and semi-retired to driving a Head Start school bus in the Morgan County School District. He loved to razz his kids and they gave back as good as he gave, and they fondly called him “Freddie.” It was a job he thoroughly enjoyed and looked forward to doing.

Fred seemed to always want to get in the car and go somewhere—the mountains, Fort Robinson in Nebraska, Champion, Neb., Enders, Neb., Ogallala, Neb., and South Dakota. His love of road-tripping carried over to his kids, who carry on the road trip tradition with their families. He shared a love of four-wheeling and the challenge of getting over the next obstacle with his family.

Fred is survived by his wife of 44 years, Marilee; son, Scott and wife Nicole and two grandsons, Liam and Patrick, of Ault; daughter, Beth and husband Don Wilcox and granddaughter, Joanna, of Longmont.

Growing up an only child, Fred loved the family he married into as fiercely as if he had been born into it. His support, affection and dedication to each person carried through his entire life. His stepsister Ramona Jernberg, in-laws, niece, nephews and their extended families all held a special place in his heart.

The graveside service was held Jan. 7 at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Holyoke. There will be a memorial service on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Holyoke Lions Den.

Baucke Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.