Katherine I. Riley

Katherine I. Riley
Date of Death: May 03, 2021
Share on facebook
Share

Katherine Irene Riley

On May 3, 2021 Katherine Riley passed away peacefully at home at the age of 92, while sitting in her favourite solarium chair. Kathe cherished a 42-year marriage to her husband Robert (Bob), who she proudly praised as ‘the man who could do anything’. She enthusiastically tested that theory with a never-ending list of home projects until his death from cancer at age 73. She kept his memory alive, surrounded by his handiwork, in their Guelph home of over 51 years.

Kathe evaded soldiers, sneaked across the Berlin Wall and immigrated to Canada from Germany at the age of 21 after losing many of her family, their home and belongings in a war they wanted nothing to do with. She arrived full of energy and ambition to make a life for herself in a country with a different language and culture and no connections. She repaid the loan for her transportation in a fraction of the required time. That drive to work hard, struggle through adversity and owe nothing permeated all aspects of her life.

Kathe met Bob at a Weiner roast in Sioux Narrows where they bonded from their mutual disgust of others wasting food by throwing hot dogs into the fire. After losing their first child at birth, they raised 2 daughters Linda and Jennifer, and 2 sons Michael and David. The early family days were in the small town of Clinton where she started trying to give her kids all the opportunities she never had, including piano, ballet, swimming, figure skating and hockey. She could be seen carrying her kids to the rink on her shoulders or running around the horse track with them (winter nights included) as she tried to transfer her love of exercise and the outdoors.

They moved to the ‘big city’ of Guelph in 1970. Determined to keep funding her kids’ activities, Kathe worked part time jobs lifeguarding, leading ladies’ fitness classes and in retail sales of women’s clothes and high-end jewellry. She was great at all those things and brought a remarkable work ethic and energy to her work outside and inside the home. In her own words, Kathe ‘never wanted something for nothing’.

Kathe and Bob loved to travel together. Some of their favourites were the Algarve, Greece, Europe and Panama City Beach. Kathe lost the confidence to travel alone after Bob’s death but made a point of travelling to see her treasured family. She visited Michael, Yvonne and their kids Connor and Sienna at their home in Lake Oswego and vacation spots like Whistler and Punta Cana. She never stopped grieving the loss of Michael to cancer at the age of 53. Her trips to BC where to visit Linda, Jennifer and her son Ben. After she stopped travelling, phone calls kept her connected, especially with her daughters, whose calls she looked forward to very much.

David was the last of her family in Guelph. She loved to visit him and Barb at their home that she referred to as ‘heaven on earth’ where she would swim, walk the trails with their dog Kootenay and enjoy weekly meals. It was also a popular gathering place to visit with her extended family; all the branches of the Ebbesens.

Kathe deeply appreciated a few loyal friendships and brief interactions with people. Her walls, table-tops, desk and closet are a treasure trove of cards, letters and photos that she saved over the years. Despite her craving for connection, Kathe had trouble understanding the impact that her outspoken opinions could have on other people. This was likely the biggest challenge for her and her loved ones.

To her last day, Kathe was determined to stay as functional and self-sufficient as possible. ‘Use it or lose it’ was one of her favourite mantras, and she walked-her-talk. When shoulder injuries and arthritis ended her trips to Rec Centre pools, she continued with yoga and long walks.  When one shoulder was too sore to move, she would use the other arm to push it into the right yoga position. When she could no longer tolerate long walks, she switched to a stationary bike; 50 revolutions morning, noon and again in the evening, right up to her last day.

Kathe is not someone who went unnoticed. She had a presence, and her presence will endure within those she touched. The family will host a small pandemic-friendly gathering in her honour. In addition, we welcome stories and reflections about Kathe through online submissions, and thank you for anything you wish to share.

Arrangements entrusted to the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL 519-822-0051 / www.wallcustance.com.

 

A tree will be planted in memory of Katherine I. Riley in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest. 

 

First Tree Date: May 3, 2021
COVID-19 UPDATE | STATEMENT: 

The health of those we serve, our employees and our guests is of the utmost importance to us, and as such, we are diligently following the directives of Canadian public health authorities and the Bereavement Authority of Ontario to keep everyone safe and well.

We have implemented the following measures to maintain the safety of both our staff and those that visit our facility:

• Enhanced and frequent cleanings, with particular focus on high-traffic and high contact areas.

• Hand-sanitizer is available in all high-traffic areas.

• Maintenance of physical distancing, both during visitations and services, and during our meetings with families.

• Ongoing communications with those that we serve to ensure that they are aware of the current Covid-19 colour rating of our municipality and the accompanying guidelines.

We continue to rely on the advice provided by health experts and are committed to doing all we can to keep our community healthy.

PLEASE READ (click here): If you can answer “Yes” to any of the questions, please call us (519) 822-0051 instead of coming into the funeral home…

Thank you,
Scott & Betty Ann Young
Owners, Wall-Custance Funeral Home & Chapel

All rights Reserved. © Copyright 2020

Site design & hosting by: 519Web, PinPoint Local

Send a private message of condolence for Katherine I. Riley

Katherine I. Riley

Katherine I. Riley
Date of Death: May 03, 2021

Katherine Irene Riley

On May 3, 2021 Katherine Riley passed away peacefully at home at the age of 92, while sitting in her favourite solarium chair. Kathe cherished a 42-year marriage to her husband Robert (Bob), who she proudly praised as ‘the man who could do anything’. She enthusiastically tested that theory with a never-ending list of home projects until his death from cancer at age 73. She kept his memory alive, surrounded by his handiwork, in their Guelph home of over 51 years.

Kathe evaded soldiers, sneaked across the Berlin Wall and immigrated to Canada from Germany at the age of 21 after losing many of her family, their home and belongings in a war they wanted nothing to do with. She arrived full of energy and ambition to make a life for herself in a country with a different language and culture and no connections. She repaid the loan for her transportation in a fraction of the required time. That drive to work hard, struggle through adversity and owe nothing permeated all aspects of her life.

Kathe met Bob at a Weiner roast in Sioux Narrows where they bonded from their mutual disgust of others wasting food by throwing hot dogs into the fire. After losing their first child at birth, they raised 2 daughters Linda and Jennifer, and 2 sons Michael and David. The early family days were in the small town of Clinton where she started trying to give her kids all the opportunities she never had, including piano, ballet, swimming, figure skating and hockey. She could be seen carrying her kids to the rink on her shoulders or running around the horse track with them (winter nights included) as she tried to transfer her love of exercise and the outdoors.

They moved to the ‘big city’ of Guelph in 1970. Determined to keep funding her kids’ activities, Kathe worked part time jobs lifeguarding, leading ladies’ fitness classes and in retail sales of women’s clothes and high-end jewellry. She was great at all those things and brought a remarkable work ethic and energy to her work outside and inside the home. In her own words, Kathe ‘never wanted something for nothing’.

Kathe and Bob loved to travel together. Some of their favourites were the Algarve, Greece, Europe and Panama City Beach. Kathe lost the confidence to travel alone after Bob’s death but made a point of travelling to see her treasured family. She visited Michael, Yvonne and their kids Connor and Sienna at their home in Lake Oswego and vacation spots like Whistler and Punta Cana. She never stopped grieving the loss of Michael to cancer at the age of 53. Her trips to BC where to visit Linda, Jennifer and her son Ben. After she stopped travelling, phone calls kept her connected, especially with her daughters, whose calls she looked forward to very much.

David was the last of her family in Guelph. She loved to visit him and Barb at their home that she referred to as ‘heaven on earth’ where she would swim, walk the trails with their dog Kootenay and enjoy weekly meals. It was also a popular gathering place to visit with her extended family; all the branches of the Ebbesens.

Kathe deeply appreciated a few loyal friendships and brief interactions with people. Her walls, table-tops, desk and closet are a treasure trove of cards, letters and photos that she saved over the years. Despite her craving for connection, Kathe had trouble understanding the impact that her outspoken opinions could have on other people. This was likely the biggest challenge for her and her loved ones.

To her last day, Kathe was determined to stay as functional and self-sufficient as possible. ‘Use it or lose it’ was one of her favourite mantras, and she walked-her-talk. When shoulder injuries and arthritis ended her trips to Rec Centre pools, she continued with yoga and long walks.  When one shoulder was too sore to move, she would use the other arm to push it into the right yoga position. When she could no longer tolerate long walks, she switched to a stationary bike; 50 revolutions morning, noon and again in the evening, right up to her last day.

Kathe is not someone who went unnoticed. She had a presence, and her presence will endure within those she touched. The family will host a small pandemic-friendly gathering in her honour. In addition, we welcome stories and reflections about Kathe through online submissions, and thank you for anything you wish to share.

Arrangements entrusted to the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL 519-822-0051 / www.wallcustance.com.

 

A tree will be planted in memory of Katherine I. Riley in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest. 

 

First Tree Date: May 3, 2021