Biography: On Sunday, May 2, 2021, Thomas Riley transitioned peacefully in his sleep at the Manhattan Rehabilitation and Nursing Center; he was 70 years old.
Thomas Riley was born October 23, 1950, in New York City to parents Adam and Marcella Riley; he was the fourth eldest of eight children. He is preceded in death by his mother and father, and siblings: Adam Jr, Wendy, and Maxine, and granddaughter, Quintasia.
Thomas attended Henry Highland School for Success Elementary (PS 175), located in New York City. He went on to earn his high school diploma at Burke High School in Charleston, South Carolina.
Thomas learned the importance of God, family, responsibility, and hard work at a young age. He attended church regularly with his parents and siblings, where he grew a profound understanding and love for God. As a teenager, Thomas worked in the family businesses; he oversaw the family's flower shop and laundromat. In the family business, he developed a take charge and ambitious spirit, which would allow him to become a self-taught car mechanic.
Thomas loved cars! He loved driving cars, he loved talking about cars, and he loved fixing cars, so much so that he made a career out of it. He spent most of his young adulthood and middle adulthood in the automotive mechanic industry. He was forced to give up his passion for fixing cars later in adulthood due to health issues. Nevertheless, because he had a spirit of pushing forward, he developed a new passion, studying the law. Thomas was known to spend hours in the law library, reading laws and assessing old case files. His new love for the law motivated him to want to help those in need of legal assistance. Even in sickness, he researched organizations that would allow him to volunteer to assist with legal matters. He spoke eagerly regarding using his legal knowledge to service marginalized communities.
The only thing Thomas loved more than cars and the law was family; he was passionate about family! He loved his wife, loved his children/grandchildren, loved his siblings, and loved his nieces and nephews. He had a desire to be supportive and
present for his family in any way he could be. It could be his offering advice-sometimes unsolicited, or being a listening ear, or offering financial assistance, or showing up and showing support in times of need. He was devoted to his family and had a charitable disposition that outshined the times he was overwhelming. He was indeed his happiest when in the presence of family, especially his youngest granddaughter, Samarah, whom he affectionately called “Baby.” Thomas spoke openly and often about creating memories with his family, and up until the day he went home to be with the Lord, he actively pursued doing just that.
Thomas leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 36 years, Irene Riley. His three sons: Thomas Jr, Jason, and Tyreen; four daughters: Danielle, Carmalita, Dana, and Shadonna; three grandsons: Byrell, Dontrell, and Jaquan; five granddaughters: Dajhanae,Tiffany, Brielle, Samarah, and Jada; great-grandson: Bryce; and his brothers: Lawrence, Stanley, Anthony, and Martin, in addition to a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, and special friends.