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1015 W Wolfe St.
P.O. Box 543
Grand Saline, TX 75140
Phone: 903-962-3333
Fax: 903-962-3651
Dennis Riley

Dennis Wesley Riley

Saturday, May 6th, 1944 - Saturday, March 28th, 2020
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Dennis Wesley Riley, beloved husband, father, grandpa, uncle, brother, friend...passed away unexpectedly at home, in the presence of his wife, Brenda. Many of you knew of his 2- year battle with spinal cord damage, a battle he was determined to conquer. Den, as everyone knew him, lived a life that was full of adventure, saying often that he "had done everything in his life he wanted to do". A cowboy first, he had a big heart and was known for reaching out to anyone in need. He was stubborn, independent, ornery and had little patience for things that didn't make sense. His sense of humor was rich, his knowledge about so many things, wide and large, and he loved nothing more than using his brilliant mind to solve problems and seek resolutions. His beloved bass boat, the Tressa E. was his truest passion. Bass fishing was what he loved and he never stopped seeking a way to be in his boat once again. His beloved dogs, one always with him, were a delight. Den played guitar, and a gift for playing and singing. He had a successful band for 25 years and was working on a music project to share in church. An avid bow hunter, he shared, with his sons, a passion for all things outdoors. He could find his way out of anywhere, and some of the best memories left behind are of those days hunting, fishing and tromping through the woods. Den was a superb horseman, excellent marksman, pilot, scuba diver, the owner of numerous businesses, a trapper, fisherman and so many other things. He was a superb fly fisherman; in fact, anything he did he did with a level of excellence hard to replicate. His many close friendships were a delight-he had a knack for convincing everyone to buy the best baits or gear for every situation-and he loved being asked for advice. He loved challenges, he loved his wife, he loved his life. His children, all of them, were deeply loved by Den. He was known to tell anyone who would listen of their accomplishments, where they worked, what they did, how proud he was of each of them. Den took things straight on, facing challenges with a ‘get it done’ attitude. He was tough and to the point but he never held a grudge and would do anything for anyone. His later-in-life marriage to his wife Brenda was, as he said, “the best decision he ever made”. She is, as he is to her, his heart. Their journey of the past two years was one of difficulty, but was always, always filled with love and laughter. Their deep love, friendship and faith will be what sustains her in the years to come. He leaves behind the best part of him-the children he fathered, adopted, fostered, raised and cared for-they were his heart and soul. Den was a strong, complex and yet simple man who never let life keep him down for long. His faith in God was infinite and he knew when all was said and done where he would go. He adored being a grandpa, Pop-Pop Riley…and will truly miss the little ones. Den is no longer here, but his presence will remain. Rest in peace my love, good journey. A celebration of Den’s life is being planned at a later date.

From Brenda ... "I have been asked where memorial donations can be made for Den. It would honor him to support the Johns Hopkins Neurological Department. They discovered the source of his spinal cord damage and performed the rare surgical procedure to re-establish bloodflow to his spinal cord. Neurological ischemia or spinal cord stroke affects only about 2% of the population. It changed our lives forever-not once, but twice. You can can call them directly at 443-287-7877, or donate online at As Dr. Nick Theodore, neurological surgeon at JH said to me after Den's death, "I will commit to finding a way for others not to suffer like Den did-he was in a living hell". We saw so much suffering, aside from our own. They have already used Den's case to author papers and add to future research. Please be sure to let them know he was a patient there and you are donating in his name. God bless you."
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2 trees have been planted in memory of Dennis Wesley Riley

Brenda Riley

Posted at 12:19pm
Today is your birthday and you are not here to celebrate it with me. I think about the last year, and how this time to the day a year ago we got the news that you were going to be air-transported to Johns Hopkins for the rare surgical procedure to fix your spinal artery. It was as if God had cleared the path miraculously for it to happen. It did, and although we had hope, it did accomplish what we hoped it would. Today, a year later, I have a heart full of memories about that day, and the days that followed. I miss you more than words will ever be able to express-you brought light and laughter and joy into my world. You loved me unconditionally, warts and all, and made me feel as if I was the most beautiful woman that ever lived. You gave me your heart, and you had mine. Our earthly celebration will be to remember, to pause, to reflect on the day you were born, not the day you died. To remember birthdays past, to be grateful and to be happy you have the peace and pain-free existence denied you here. I love you Den, you are my heart.

Suzanne Hanson

Posted at 09:08pm
I remember Brenda and Den when I was learning how to cast a pole and we all want fishing. Believe it or not I learned how to cast. Den was so calm and positive for me. He was always there for me whenever I needed him. He was a very kind and loving man. He taught me a lot. I respected him so much. I was truly shocked when this happened. I Had left him a message on Marco Polo. I saw he read it, thank goodness. I had felt so bad I hadn’t gone to see him. Unfortunately he was gone that next night. Complete devastation crossed my mind, But Den knew I didn’t want him in pain and the only thing that has helped me is to know for a fact he is no longer in any pain. Heaven is truly Blessed to have such a great man. Den I miss you very much and so sorry I didn’t make it there. We all miss and love you very much.

Sandy Stubblefield

Posted at 09:10am
Den was always so positive! He went through so much but he kept his great sense of humor! He always spoke his mind, which is a great trait--very few people can do that! He was always there if you needed something. I remember that we set up our karaoke system one day and could not get it to work. We called Den, he came right over, and got it working. I had forgot to turn the volume up. LOL! Den will be missed!

Double K Ranch

Posted at 12:52pm
Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart.
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Ashley Blake

Posted at 09:27pm
I'm so honored to have spent many years with Mr. Riley growing up the many wise thing he taught me and the wonderful adventures we would all go on all of us kids out at the ranch he was always like a dad to me and definitely treated me like one of his own so many times he was there for me helping me thru life every sunday church service bible studies dirt bike rides fishing trips riding horses and the daily crazyness all us kids where into living life the way he always taught us how to. My heart is heavy and we have lost an amazing person way to soon. MY condolences go out to his family we all loved u so much Mr Riley. Rest in paradise where we know u will be fishing and watching over all of us

Love always
Ashley Blake

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