Paul Reilly

February 9, 1947June 24, 2019
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Paul Reilly of Fleming Island, FL passed away on June 24, 2019 under the care of Community Hospice following complications from a stroke. He was born on February 9, 1947 in New York, NY. He is preceded in death by his parents Jeff and Agnes Reilly and sister Jean Ann Jacques. He is survived by his wife of 25 years Susan, brother Tom, daughter Tracey Barber (Trip), and his step children Austin Dekle (Asia), Morgan Checketts (Adam), Taylor Wittenberg (Jacob). He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren Reilly, Crosby, McKenzie, Harrison, Rowan and Rory, as well as Rocky, his faithful dog. Paul was a retired art teacher and a coach of several sports at Robert E. Lee High School for 37 years. Paul loved people, his Florida State Seminoles and the Dollar Tree. He was an avid outdoorsman and world traveler. A memorial service will be held in his honor on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 10am at Hardage-Giddens Riverside Memorial Park & Funeral Home, 7242 Normandy Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32205.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, June 29, 2019
  • Reception Saturday, June 29, 2019


Paul Reilly

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Valerie Keister

July 8, 2019

I was proud to have Mr. Reilly as my Art, Study Hall, and Yearbook teacher throughout my four years at Robert E. Lee 93-97. He was very talented and thoughtful to all of his students and showed each individual ways to express their artistic abilities. God bless you Mrs. Reilly and to all the family he will truly be missed. Beautiful memorial video.

Valerie Keister c/o ‘97

Michelle Adams Reeves

July 4, 2019

Mr. Reilly was such a great source of inspiration to so many. He could help me calm my anxiety, even though I didn't know I had it, or how to meditate yet! All he had to say was "Michelle, it's going to be aaaalllllrightttt."

I had the privilege of attending his art class all 4 years of high school at Lee, along with yearbook class during the last 2 years. That final year was 1995. I only needed 1 credit to graduate. Yearbook was 4th period. Unfortunately, due to the rules, I wasn't permitted to attend that period exclusively.

I still went to all 4 classes each day, just so I could be in Mr. Reilly's class. I was also honored that he selected me to be our Yearbook Editor that final year.

He was so artistic, witty & had a huge heart. Those of us blessed to be in his classes (over the decades) were able to witness a true legend!

We will miss you dearly Mr. Reilly! See you again one day in Heaven, where I'm sure you're keeping others entertained & creating masterpieces!

I was honored you kept my stippling of the Vanilla Fields hummingbird. I just wish I had a color copier back then!!!

Praying for your family's comfort during their time of grief. They were especially blessed to have you!

I'm so sorry you're gone from our view for now. Rest In Peace. Hopefully you don't have old students harassing you on the other side!!! I know you're smiling at us all!

Mike Carroll

July 1, 2019

My favorite teacher of all time. See you at the horizon line/vanishing point. 🎨🖌️♥️

J.P. Ellison

June 30, 2019

Coach Reilly,

Thank you for all the talks and time we shared coaching the Lee high swimming team and all the laps we swam together. Thank you for all your dedication and service to the education of so many students.

Marlena Porter

June 29, 2019

In memory of Mr.Reilly, he was a great teacher and also a comedian who kept the class laughing at his funny jokes and that’s something I’ll always remember about him. A phenomenal guy who everyone will truly miss and enjoyed being around.

Shontay Wylie

June 29, 2019

Mr Reilly was one of those teachers that u knew genuinely cared about his students. He left a mark on so many of us and will truly be missed. My deepest condolences to his loved ones.

Leigh Howton Philips

June 29, 2019

Mr. Reilly was one of my favorite art teachers, ever. I believe I had him 2 of my 3 years at Lee HS. He was kind, humorous and easy-going, not to mention very talented. He was quick to speak praise of our work, which only drove us to push a little mharder toward making whatever art project we had going at the time the best it could be. My condolences to the family in this loss of a sweet man and great teacher. Peace to you all.

Karen Senn (Bailey)

June 28, 2019

My condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Reilly... May they find comfort in his precious memory during this difficult time............. I had Mr Reilly as an art teacher back in the early 70"s at Robert E Lee High School... He was a very talented art teacher and had a great rapport with his students.....R.I.P. Mr Reilly! You will be missed but your memory will remain with us always! May God Bless his family.

Mary Chowenhill

June 28, 2019

Paul was one of my favorite people. My favorite memory is of him taking my husband fishing. Nelson’s health wasn’t so good but Paul gave us a wonderful day by the Saint Johns sitting in chairs he provided because he knew Nelson could not stand for long. I also remember his swim team which was about inclusion not exclusion. There was always room for a student who wanted to swim and they were cheered on when them swam even if the were the last to finish. My Sudanese god daughter learned to swim from Paul and grew in confidence because of him. Now she works for Alaska Airlines. Nothing is impossible when you have been given an opportunity to grow. Praying for you Susan that God will comfort you.

Delilah Clemmons

June 28, 2019

Mr. Reilly,

You will forever be my favorite art teacher. I learned so much about color blending in your class. Your humor was always top notch dry wit, dead pan, and you always answered my millions of questions.

I know I'm a better artist because of your influence, and maybe even funnier because of you too.

Everyone wanted to skip classes and be in your art class. You were so chill, being in your class felt more like a hangout.

Mr. Reilly, we'll miss you.