On Thursday, May 2nd, 2019, Mary Harriett Riley, loving mother, wife, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away at the age of 74 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Harriett, as she was known, was born on December 26th in Macon, Missouri to Jesse and Florence (Whittaker) Shawk. Harriett was also the stepchild of Ila Shaw, Jesse’s third wife, whom he married after the death of her biological mother Florence when she was an infant.
She graduated high school in 1962 from Salisbury High School in Salisbury, Missouri. While in high school she was a member of many clubs such as student council, drama club, FFA, and band. She attended college Northeast Missouri State (now known as Truman State University) in the fall of 1962 – 1963. She married William R. Bowen and they had a daughter, Karmen Bowen (Glover). She later then married her second husband, Arthur ‘Bud’ Riley in 1977 and remained married till is death in 2008 in Mexico, MO. After Bud passed, she was the companion of Harold Strait of Mexico, MO for many years until she moved to Atlanta, GA to live with her daughter Karmen.
While living in Mexico, Harriett held several jobs including being a realtor and working as a radio sales representative for Country 96 Radio/KXEO for many years. She loved her family and spending time with them during holidays and vacations. She also enjoyed going concerts, festivals, traveling, playing cards and dancing. She loved going to Las Vegas or to a riverboat casino whenever she could. She was a cancer survivor, and later in life she could be seen dancing almost every day to some country music in her home. She was known for her boisterous laugh, quick wit, infectious smile, and always wanted to make sure everyone around her was having a great time.
Harriett was preceded in death by her father, Jesse, her mother Florence, her stepmother Ila, and, her husband Arthur ‘Bud’ Riley. She is survived by her daughter Karmen (Bowen) Glover of Atlanta, GA; her stepdaughter Madeline (Riley) Hassen of Washington, MO; and her stepdaughter Melissa (Riley) Zeigler of Mexico, MO; six grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren along with numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
There will be a memorial service and celebration of life held on Saturday, July 13th from 1PM at Summerville Funeral Home in Salisbury, MO. A reception will immediately follow at the Balcony Ballroom in downtown Salisbury, MO with everyone welcome to attend. I lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations made to Alzheimer’s Foundation or to the American Cancer Society.