September 16 – Happy Birthday Joe Riley III

pictureofjoe2I put Joe Riley in the same “likable”category as apple pie, Friday night high school football and hitting an exacta at the flat track. Simply put, today’s Amsterdam NY Birthday celebrant is one of this town’s all-time nice guys. Born on September 16, 1952, he’s the oldest of the four Riley boys born to Joe Jr. and his wife Mary Ann, who was the sister of long-time St. Mary’s and Bishop Scully three-sport coach, the late Dutch Howlan. The boys also have a younger sister named Marybeth.

Joe Riley III attended SMI through eighth grade and then Bishop Scully, graduating in 1970. He was into sports his entire life and he was very good at all of them, earning several of those huge green “S’s” in high school for his play on Uncle Dutch’s basketball, football and baseball teams.

After graduating from Scully, he went on to Niagara University. He then returned to his hometown and started his one-man version of a “jobs program!” I met him for the very first time when he umpired one of my Shorty’s softball games in the early seventies. He also became a familiar site wearing one of those zebra shirts at Capital District high school gymnasiums as he evolved into one of this area’s best high school basketball referees. I’ve used his moving company every time I’ve moved to a new home in this city. I must admit though, I am in no hurry to be in need of the services he provides in his other long-time occupations. He serves as Montgomery County Coroner plus he and his brothers operate Riley Mortuary on Division Street, which has been in their family since 1921, when Joe’s great grandfather Arthur Riley bought into the business.

Joe married the lovely Karen Murphy and they have raised four kids, each of whom is already doing some incredible…

My complete birthday post for Joe Riley will appear in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. I also distribute an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that includes the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty  people whose birthdays I recognize each month. Each newsletter also includes an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.

The monthly newsletter is free. If you’d like to receive it, just make sure your name and e-mail address are included on this list.

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