Retired truck dealer had congenial manner


TIFFIN - Hugh C. Riley, a retired truck dealer and broker, died Wednesday at Mercy Hospital, where he was admitted a week ago for congestive heart failure. He was 82.

Mr. Riley operated H.C. Riley Co. for more than two decades, selling large trucks and negotiating freight contracts to deliver produce and other goods, Kathy Riley, his daughter, said.

Working from Tiffin, Mr. Riley often made shipping arrangements to deliver products from Chicago to the East Coast. His congenial approach was an important asset for him, she said.

“He could be very engaging,'' she said. “He loved to tell stories and jokes. I think that was very important to the work he did.''

His employees never affiliated with a union, an indicator to Mr. Riley that they felt they were fairly treated in an industry sector that was once heavily unionized, she said.

“He was pretty proud his truck drivers weren't part of the Teamsters,'' she said.

Prior to forming his own business, Mr. Riley briefly sold insurance in Bloomville in the mid 1940s. Then for 10 years he was a sales representative, selling heavy construction equipment for Erie Streyer Co.

From the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s, he sold trucks for Oshkosh Motor Trucking.

Born in New York City, he moved to Bloomville with his family when he was about 5 years old. He graduated from Bloomville High School and attended Otterbein College for three years.

Mr. Riley retired about 10 years ago.

He was a Marine Corps veteran of World War II, serving in the Soloman Islands, Okinawa, and the Philippines.

In his spare time, he enjoyed traveling. He and his wife, Audray, visited Ireland several times, and took trips to Europe, Alaska, and Mexico.

He was a member and past commander of the Caufield American Legion Post 434, a former president of the Tiffin Junior Chamber of Commerce, a former board member of the Mohawk Country Club, a former board member of the Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce, and a lifetime member of the Tiffin Elks.

Surviving are his wife, Audray; daughters, Kathy Riley and Patricia Rinker; sister Suzanne Kagy, four grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Linday-Olds Funeral Home, Bloomville. The family requests that any tributes be to the World War II Veterans Memorial Fund or a charity of the donor's choice.