of Little Rock, AR
November 6, 1926 - August 15, 2022
Neil Hamilton "Biegie" Riley Sr. of Little Rock, AR passed to his Heavenly home on August 15, 2022, joining his beloved wife, Betty Nan Riley, who patiently awaited the reunion for eight years. Neil was born on November 6, 1926 in Antoine to the late James Willis Riley and Sidney Jones Riley. He is also predeceased by his grandson, Andrew Dowdy; sisters, Sue Johnson and Marcella Weeks ("Bill"); brother, Fred Riley (Ann) and brother-in-law, James Denton. Neil was named after a movie star but was most well-known by his nickname "Biegie." He loved playing baseball, hunting, fishing and enjoying the outdoors - hobbies he was able to enjoy most of life. At 18 years old, Neil joined the U.S. Navy. He served for two years on the USS Houston during the end of WWII. After serving his country, Neil was immediately hired by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (later AT&T) in Little Rock, where he worked for the next 38 years with perfect attendance. It was at Southwestern Bell where he met the love of his life, a secretary named Betty Nan Kober. Together they raised their three children, Becky, Cilla and Hamilton, in a loving home. As family was always of paramount importance to him, Neil loved watching his children participate in all their activities, camping trips to Greers Ferry Lake, family gatherings and holidays. At age 60, Neil retired from AT&T and opened Neil Riley Telephone Services. He served many clients, the largest being Camp Robinson. He retired for the last time ten years later so that he and Betty Nan could enjoy their Greers Ferry lake house at Higden and travel frequently to visit their grandchildren wherever they lived, near or far. Neil was a member of South Highland Church of Christ and then Pleasant Valley Church of Christ, where he faithfully served as head usher for many years, enjoying greeting members and visitors each Sunday. Outside of church, he never wavered from watching his Razorback teams or from sitting on his porch with a hot cup of coffee. Neil is loved and survived by his children, Rebecca Nan Mulvaney of Nassau Bay, TX (Randy), Priscilla Riley Dowdy of Chapel Hill, NC (Joe, Col. USMC Ret.) and Neil Hamilton Riley Jr.; grandchildren, Connor Mulvaney (BreeAnn), Pierce Hamilton Mulvaney and Logan Mulvaney all of Houston, TX, John Riley Dowdy (Layla) of Chapel Hill, NC, Elizabeth Dowdy of Raleigh, NC, Jefferson Dowdy (Marla) of Orlando, FL and Sidney Riley (Emily) of Twenty Nine Palms, CA. He is also survived by his beloved great-grandchildren, Anna Riley and Jackson Dowdy, Evelyn, Arden and Morgan Dowdy, Della Nan Mulvaney and Atlas Hamilton Mulvaney. He is also survived by his sister, Sherilyn Riley Denton of Arkadelphia and many nieces, nephews and extended cousins. Neil cherished being the Riley family patriarch. In his later years, Neil was lovingly assisted at home by his son Hamilton and his friend and daily helper, Donna Rowe from Grace at Home, who made each day a pleasure. Neil's family extends their deepest gratitude to the floor nurses, ICU South nurses, Dr. Nathan Falls and Dr. David Smith for the tender care they provided during Neil's COVID fight. Roller Chenal Funeral Home, Little Rock, will host visitation at 2 p.m. and celebration service at 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 20. Graveside service will be 11 a.m., Monday, August, 22 at Forest Hills Memorial Park. The family requests attendees to please wear masks. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Children's Homes Inc. at childrenshomes.org.
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of Neil. My husband, Randy, thought the world of the Riley family who are all from Pike County. May God give you comfort and peace. Sincerely, Karan Hughes
Becky,Cilla, and Hamilton I’m very sad to hear about the passing of your dad. Both of your parents were two of the nicest people I ever knew.Gary Fotioo
Dear Cousins, As Bob likely has residue from a covid variant; he is unable to attend Neil's service. However Bob has recounted some day long fishing trips he and Biegie in younger years enjoyed. Great memories! Beigie and I had a nice long phone visit not very long ago. So happy we had this loving visit. Donna Gail Riley Fugitt
I was fortunate to meet Neil when his daughter, Cilla and I were college roommates. He was a wonderful man. So kind and good natured. I will always remember what a a hard worker he was and how much he cared for his family. He was a blessing to everyone who knew him. May he now here the words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" from Jesus.
What wonderful memories of our families from childhoods and church life. May you know that you were loved deeply and that we are people of hope. May God’s peace surround your hearts.
Neil and Betty were always so gracious and kind to everyone they met. We have missed Betty and, now, will miss Neil but we know where they are now serving.
Neil was one of the most respected telephone craft employees that I ever knew. I once rode with him for a day in my beginning days at SW BELL. He laughingly told everyone that he broke me in properly and was mostly responsible for my “success”.He and Betty were great friends to my wife Mary and I.Scott MintonRetired District Plant Manager
Becky, Cilla & Hamilton- I have very fond memories of your family growing up. My sincere condolences for your sweet family.
So many good times we had with all the family We are thinking of all of you guys today So sorry we won’t be able to come but we will be thinking of you and love y’all
Becky and family so sorry for your loss. Your Dad was such a sweet man. I know how he loved Greers Ferry Lake. I shared many fabulous memories of my Dad at Greers Ferry Lake. That is why I moved there because of my love of the Lake and the memories of my Dad. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Dear Family of Neil, You all are in our thoughts & prayers. There was no better person than Neil. He mentored me & was a father figure when I first came to PVCC in 1978. I basically knew no one, other than Dan. He’d always greeted me in the lobby or made sure we got invited to Sunday lunch. He was a rare & fine gem! 💎 Love to the whole bunches of you!Dan & Rita Medlock08-18-2022
To Becky and all the Riley's. Sounds like Neil was someone I would have enjoyed swapping my Air Force stories with his Navy stories. I have been out of the state for over 30 years, but once a Razorback always a Razorback. We would have spent some time analyzing their plight and baseball is my favorite sport. Having a wise and loving parent/grandparent around for such a long time is truly a blessing. After reading his story, sounds like you have a lot to celebrate. God bless him and all the Riley family.
You are being lifted up in prayers. I know family was and still a special blessing to the Spangler’s.
Neil was a great neighbor and friend. Typically over the years, I’d be out working in the yard or walking one of our dogs, and Neil would either be on his front porch or doing some yard work as well. What would start out as just an exchange of greetings would end up as an hour long talk about the Razorbacks, his time in the Navy, stuff going on in the neighborhood, his phone system work, things like that. He was always very nice, considerate, and polite. Our family’s condolences to his family and friends. Godspeed Neil.
Dear Rileys,I will see you saturday, until then you will remain in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. What a reunion is waiting for Neil in his heavenly home, I look forward to us all being together again in our permanent home; what a glorious day that will be!Love you all like family, because you are,Kathy