Alice F. Riley
September 23, 1923 – January 23, 2020
LEXINGTON – Alice Fritz Riley was born September 23, 1923 to the Rev. Charles E. and Rose Stump Fritz in Waukesha, WI, where her father was Pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church. She spent much of her childhood in Neenah, WI, before moving with her family, first to Greensboro, NC, and then to Columbia, SC, where her father was Pastor of Ebenezer Lutheran Church. She graduated from Columbia High School in 1940.
Alice graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College in 1944 with an AB in English and a teaching certificate for English and Social Studies. After graduation she returned to Columbia, SC, where she met and married the love of her life, Eber LeRoy Riley (deceased June 24, 1977). They had five children: Roy Riley, Jr. (Betsy), Michael F. Riley (Betty), Alice Anne Merritt (John), Timothy D. Riley (Nickie), Rose Mary Corbett (Bob). Alice delighted in and adored fifteen grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.
Alice was a lifelong member of the Lutheran church and a charter member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Columbia. Her Lutheran heritage stretches back to her grandfather, Dr. Joseph Stump, a Lutheran Seminary Professor and first President of Northwestern Seminary in Minneapolis. Her brothers, Richard (deceased) and Douglas were ordained as Lutheran Pastors, as were two of her sons, Roy and Mike.
Alice maintained her own lay ministry over the years, visiting shut-ins, being a leader in stewardship and an active member of her church ‘women’s’ circle. Additionally, she served on the summer staff at Lutheridge.
She had a deep love of music. A coloratura soprano, Alice was for many years a member of the Columbia Choral Society, Good Shepherd Choir, and a frequent soloist. Her four siblings, Joseph, Richard, Douglas and Betty Anne, were all outstanding vocalists and together could easily sing anything in four or five part harmony; add their spouses and there was a full chorus. Alice loved to see her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren following in this musical tradition.
Her other loves included the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears, South Carolina Gamecocks, Atlanta Braves, a front porch ocean view at the beach, coffee, food she didn’t have to cook, and an evening toddy of Canadian and ginger ale.
She was a person of grace, always living with a thankful heart and a positive attitude. Above all, we remember her deep Christian faith and commitment to the church and its mission. She was blessed to be a blessing, and that was how she lived.
A celebration of life service will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. with burial to follow in Elmwood Cemetery.Visitation will be at the church prior to the service at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church or the ELCA World Hunger Appeal.
“Rest eternal grant her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon her.”
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
3909 Forest Drive, Columbia, South Carolina 29204
- ELCA World Hunger Appeal
- Visitation one hour prior to the service Thursday, January 30, 2020
- Celebration of Life Thursday, January 30, 2020
- Burial ~ following service Thursday, January 30, 2020
Alice F. Riley
February 4, 2020
Please know all of your family have been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be. I have known Alice for 80 years! She and Roy were such wonderful friends to Harold and me as Harold began his ministry at Good Shepherd and we were newly weds. I regret that I was not able to visit her after she moved to the Heritage at Lowman. It is hard to lose a Mom. We know she is at peace and we know God will lead with us as we journey through our grief. God bless you all. With love, Betty Park
January 30, 2020
Mike and family, I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. You are all in my prayers. I didn’t know your mom, but I do know what it’s like to be where you are now. You will miss her and think of her every day until you are reunited with her before the throne of God. Thanks be to God for the resurrection to eternal life!
January 29, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of your mother's death. Though she lived a good long life, I know it's still hard to lose her. Hugs to you and Betty. Take care - Becky
January 28, 2020
Roy and Mike, Becky joins me in sending our thoughts and prayers at this time. Your mother lived an incredible life of love, support, and service to her Lord. May the promise of the Resurrection bring you strength and comfort during these days.
Dick and Becky Campbell
January 27, 2020
Hey Riley family, so many wonderful memories of your mom and dad and family. I (Jane) can’t make the service at Good Shepherd but Mitch will be there for both of us.
David Keck Sr
January 27, 2020
Dear Ones of Mrs. Riley, Our love and sympathy on Alice's death. Wow, what a wonderful ministry she had - just like Dick and Doug and Roy and Mike (and the others of you too who just didn't get ordained)! I did not remember that she was a Fritz (whose family intertwined with the Kecks when Dad taught at LTSS in the 40's and 50's and where at Ebenezer I was confirmed in 1950. Dick was my seminary choir director and his son Richard became my parents pastor at St. Andrew's, Hickory until their deaths. What a ministerial family!
But you grieve as we all do, even as you rejoice that your matriarch is with the saints and her Lord Jesus forever. May you know the Peace and Comfort of our Lord Jesus.
In Christ's love, David & Diana
January 27, 2020
I enjoyed working with Alice during those summers when she was working at Lutheridge. We had such a good time. I was so sorry to see that we had lost another of the Lutheridge Ladies that I had the privilege of knowing over the years. My thoughts and prayers are with the Riley Family.