Thursday, February 22, 1990 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Edward F. Riley St., 94; Served In Legislature And On City Council

After serving in public office for almost 30 years in the Legislature and the Seattle City Council, Edward Francis Riley Sr. lost his first election in 1968 and his son, Edward Jr., remembers his father being proud of his record.

``He figured he had been in public life for 30 years and never lost an election,'' Edward Jr. said. ``He said that wasn't too bad.''

A Mass of Christian burial was said Tuesday at St. James Cathedral for Riley who died Friday. He was 94.

While his father spent his last years in public office serving on the Seattle City Council - a position he was originally appointed to after Councilman Wing Luke was killed in a plane crash in 1965 - Riley really enjoyed his time in Olympia, his son said.

``He loved the Legislature,'' Edward Jr. said. ``When he was on the City Council, he was a part-time lobbyist in Olympia. The reason he took that job was because he could go to Olympia.

``Dad loved serving the state because he was born here and he loved it,'' his son said. ``Out of the jobs he had, he enjoyed the Legislature the most.''

A graduate of Queen Anne High School, Riley attended the University of Washington and was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1939 as a Democrat from Seattle's 35th District.

He quit the Legislature in 1944 to serve in the Army. After the war he returned to the House.

In 1952, Riley resigned from the House to run for the state

Senate. He won that seat, and three years later he announced that he would run for lieutenant governor.

But his son said that his father's friend John Cherberg also was running for the office for the first time, and his father decided not to run against his friend. He dropped out of the race but later was named president pro tem of the Senate.

While serving the state, Riley was also the vice president of the wholesale plumbing firm of Palmer Supply Co.

Riley also served as a trustee of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Seattle-King County Good Neighbors and Puget Sound Mutual Savings Bank.

He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Seattle Downtown Kiwanis - ``I like their motto: We build,'' Riley said - the Serra Club and the Seattle Municipal League.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Freda; his son of Seattle; stepdaughter, Eleanor Aldrich; stepson, Glen Archer and several grandchildren.

The family suggest memorials be sent to the UW crew program c/o the athletic department.

Copyright (c) 1990 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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