Swan Funeral Home


Mary P. Riley

March 23, 1931January 5, 2021

RILEY, Mary Alice (Panfili), 89, passed away unexpectedly at Gladeview Rehabilitation Center on January 5, 2021. Mary was born in Hartford on March 23, 1931, the daughter of the late Julius and Rose (Massare) Panfili. She made her home in Old Saybrook, CT, for 51 years. She worked as a secretary for Aetna in Hartford, a lunch lady with the Saybrook public school system, and for 20 years as a secretary for the Hartford Courant, as well as being a full-time mom and grandmother.

She met her future husband through her involvement with the Navy as part of the WAVES. She was baptized in The Church of Christ in 1956 and she and Charles raised their family in the Christian faith. She was always singing. She had an angelic voice and instilled in her young sons a love of music, often singing them to sleep. She loved the sea and all things nautical - from great sailing ships to baked lobster and steamed mussels, but loved especially her sailor husband, Charles.

Her family was always the most important thing on Earth to her. Whether you knew her as mom, Gramma, Grammy, Sug, or Mary, she was cherished by so many. She was predeceased by her son Steven Richard Riley, husband Charles Roland Riley, Sr., her brothers Frank and Robert Panfili, her sister Rose Fraser, and nephews Julius Panfili and Howard Fraser. She is survived by son Charles Jr. and wife Terry, son Christopher, and grandson Josh, granddaughters Poppy and partner Colin, Amanda, Nell, Marta and husband Ray, two great-granddaughters, Alexis and Mya, and so many dear and beloved nieces and nephews. She fed us all, scolded us all, and loved us all, and she will be missed deeply.

In these difficult times, we propose a memorial dinner in each of your own homes this coming week, to share a meal within your own households. Wednesday the 27th, if you can, with a bit of pasta and a few memories of Sug. That way we can all be together in time, if not in person, and can remember the good times past that we've all had gathered together as Sug's family and friends.

Burial took place January 15th in Old Saybrook. A Memorial Celebration in honor of Mary’s life will take place in September. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mary’s name can be made to breast cancer research, or to the Old Saybrook Ambulance Association, 316 Main St., Old Saybrook, CT 06475.


  • Graveside Service

    Friday, January 15, 2021


Mary P. Riley

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Charles Riley

January 23, 2021

She was a wonderful mom and positive spirit. She always encouraged us to do and be better. She taught and loved us without reservation. We will miss her dearly. She always welcomed visitors with tea and something to eat. She accepted and everyone surrounded everyone with her love. Charles and Teresa