Mary Helen (Pierson) Riley passed away April 7, 2018 at Midland Hospice, Topeka, KS. She was born November 13, 1920 in Junction City, KS to William Bernard Pierson of Valparaiso, NE and Fiannah Elizabeth Mellinger of Milford, KS. Mary attended Frankfort Kansas schools and graduated from High School in 1938. She graduated in January 1942 from Bethany School of Nursing, Kansas City, KS. Mary moved to St. Louis, MO to work at the Union Pacific Hospital and returned to Kansas City, MO to work at Research Hospital.
She met John Riley, June 28, 1942. They were married October 3, 1942. The war years took Mary to Florida and Texas with John’s military assignments. After the war ended, Mary and her two children moved with John to live at Johnson AFB Tokyo, Japan. Together, the growing family would later move to Rapid City, SD and Greenham Common AFB, England. Returning to Forbes AFB, Topeka, KS the family decided this was a good place to settle. Mary renewed her nursing career by working relief at the Onaga Kansas Community hospital. Mary retired in 1982 from Stormont Vail, serving more than 20 years. Mary is a member of the First Congregational Church.
Survivors include: daughters, Anita Frank and Joyce (Tom) Gassen; sons, John (Barbara) Riley and Mark Riley; grandchildren, Amy (Sean) White, Matthew Gassen and Stephanie Gassen; and great-granddaughter Trillian White.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2018 at First Congregational Church, 1701 SW Collins Ave, Topeka, KS 66604. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery, 3616 SW 6th Ave, Topeka, KS 66606. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service.
Memorial contributions may be made in Mary’s name to an organization of the donor’s choosing.
To leave a special message for Mary’s family please visit, www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com.