Music 04

Dorothy Arlene Riley

April 27, 1928 ~ May 2, 2020 (age 92)


Dorothy A. Riley, 92, died on May 2, 2020.  Born April 27, 1928 in Akron, Ohio and lived the last 55 years in Columbus.  She is survived by children Joyce, Tom, (preceded in death by their father Sterling Deininger), Paul (Keomany), and John (Gretchen-her children Andrew and Beth) (preceded in death by their father David Riley); Paul and John’s siblings Nathan (his daughter Liberty) and Rachel (Andy-their children Ella and Lily); grandchildren, Anne, Brian, Alexa, Taylor, Elizabeth, Olivia, Dylan, Kalin, Peter, Dante, Luke, Nolan, Gavin, Erin, and Ezra. Preceded in death by father Stearl and mother Grace.  Dorothy was a professional church organist for 68 years, taking on her first position at age 14 and retiring at age 82.  Her musical studies included Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, Vernon deTar (New York City), and her selection to study with renowned composer/organist, Marcel Dupre’ (St. Sulpice, Paris, France).  Among the churches she served during her career were Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Akron, Christ Lutheran Church in Bexley, and St. Joseph Cathedral, in Columbus.  Throughout her years in Columbus, Dorothy dedicated many organs built by her friends at the Bunn-Minnick Organ Company.  As accomplished as her musical career was, Dorothy was just as fondly remembered for her 40 years of work in the music retail business with the company most recently known as University Music House.  She served the organ, sacred choral, and handbell music needs of musicians throughout the state of Ohio and often nationally.  Dorothy spent the last 8 years of her life living at Sunrise, now Bickford Assisted Living in Bexley, who did a wonderful job of seeing that her final years were lived out with care and dignity.  Dorothy will be remembered fondly and deeply missed by her family, who are tremendously proud of the person she was and her service to our Lord.  It was very important to Dorothy that, in lieu of a funeral, she would participate in the anatomical gift program at The Ohio State University, to aid in the training of medical students.  A memorial service in her honor is being planned for a later time.  All other arrangements have been entrusted to Jerry Spears Funeral Home.  To send a special message to the family, please visit www.

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