John Richard ‘Jackson’ Riley

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
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On June 1, 2021 Jackson Riley lost his battle with cancer.

Jackson was born John Richard Riley III in Cody Wyoming on April 22,1955 to Nancy  and John Richard Riley II.

Jackson spent his life in many different places as his father, a Petroleum Engineer with Amoco, moved around the oil fields often bringing his family along with him.  

Jackson married Cathi Conkling in Denver in 1975 and they were the proud parents of Shane and Katie Riley. He finally settled in Park City Montana and loved to travel the Rocky Mountains to enjoy their beauty and explore geology, his lifelong passion. In 2000 he met the love of his life Kathie Riley (Ovitt), and they were married on August 21, 2004. This union brought along her grandchildren, which he nurtured throughout the rest of his life.

 In 2006, he received his Geology degree from Rocky Mountain College and started his own oil field Geology Services company, Riley Wellsite Geosteering. Jackson loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman, hunter, and golfer.

His love for family was very evident in everything he did. He loved taking his grandchildren fishing, camping and hiking. He would often take them hiking in the Pryor Mountains, Clark Canyon, and East Rosebud. He would always tell people, “The best job in the world is being a Grandpa (Papa) and I have that job.”

Jackson is survived by his wife Kathie Riley of Park City Montana; children: Shane Riley (Vika) of Aventura Florida, Katie Riley (Phil Coutu) of Pensacola Florida, Wes Ovitt (Karen) of Joliet Mont., Angela McCormick (Bill) of Joliet Mont. and Rob Ovitt (Mandy) of Joliet Mont.; mother Nancy Riley of Ione Washington; brothers Mike Riley (Deb) Defiance Ohio, Ron Riley of Evergreen Colo., Kim Riley of Ione Wash., Ross Riley (Jen) of West Minister Colo., and David Riley (Bonnie) of Pleasanton Kansas. Jackson adored his 14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank his granddaughter Jessica Gruel and brother Ross Riley who spent countless hours tending to Jackson in his final days as his medical team, for their dedication, kindness, and compassion. Also, the family would like to give thanks to his Laurel Fellowship Group for their continued support of the family, The Billings Clinic Oncology Team (Dr. Jesus Fabregas), Billings Clinic Radiation Team (Dr. John Schallenkamp), the incredible Stillwater Hospice nurses and CNAs, Project Footprints and all of the family and friends that contributed to Jackson’s comfort during his time of need.

There will be a memorial service at Smith’s Funeral Chapel in Laurel Mont., at 11 a.m. on July 10, 2021, followed by a Celebration of Jackson’s life. In lieu of flowers we would like to request Memorials in Jackson’s name to be sent to Project Footprints ( (406-905-1004), Bank of Joliet, P.O. Box 400, Joliet, MT  59041.


Upcoming Events

Monday, June 28, 2021
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Monday, June 28, 2021
Second & fourth Monday at 11 a.m., Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane, 281-8455
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Monday, July 5, 2021
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, July 8, 2021
2nd Thursday, 6 p.m., Council Chambers


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