David Ridgely Riley
  • 69 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 19, 1947
  • Date of passing: Jan 6, 2017
  • Place of passing:
    Baltimore, Maryland, United States
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one,

                                              David Riley,
                                  69, born on November 19, 1947
                              and passed away on January 6, 2017.

Please join us for a Memorial Service...
                               Saturday, Feb. 11th 2017

                  St Stephen's Traditional Episcopal Church
                                11856 Mays Chapel Rd,
                                  Timonium, MD 21093 
                                    11:00am - 12:30pm


May his music live on forever in our hearts.


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Tim Reid on 12th February 2017

"It’s hard to summarize the profoundly positive impact that David Riley had on my life.  I have so many happy memories of my time with the choir, both at St. Paul’s and at St. Stephen’s.  And David was, in a sense, the author of all of them.  I relish the countless hours spent standing around the piano in the ground floor of St. Paul’s upper school, and the hard work that went into perfecting pieces like “Faire is the Heaven” and “O Magnum Mysterium.”  I remember the pride I felt when David conferred upon me the red ribbon as a soprano.  I can smell the incense of Cathedral of Mary Our Queen during Advent Lessons and Carols and hear David’s intonation: “I loo-ook from afar…”

There are many more, perhaps too many to count.  But when I distill these memories into a few words, here is what I know:

David was a man who spent his life creating joy in the lives of others.  He genuinely cared for each member of his choirs.  He invested in us and made us better singers, better Christians, better people.  And on occasion we delivered in return a performance that elicited from him a satisfied, proud smirk indicating a job well done – everyone who sang for him knows the smirk I’m talking about. In short, his passion for music, for his choir, and for his friends translated into more beautiful experiences for everyone in his orbit.  David, I will miss you, but I know you’re in a better place where your talent will continue to be appreciated."

This tribute was added by michele Bailey on 8th February 2017

"David, May your legacy live on in the lives of those you have touched with your music and walking with the Lord in your earthly life.  You are now reunited with your Dad and Brother forever in God's Kingdom !"

This tribute was added by Jack Shaum on 7th February 2017

"David and I went back a long way. We knew each other for 53 years, beginning when we were both teenagers. I was in the choir at St. Michael and All Angels and he was assistant organist. We used to stay after church for hours just so I could listen to him play. We also roomed together for choir camp in Betterton one summer. Our musical tastes were on the same page and I always admired his abilities as a choir director and organist. He contributed so much to the Baltimore church music scene and will be missed very much,"

This tribute was added by James Meil on 18th January 2017

"Though I was far from the easiest to teach, constantly got lost in scores, and dropped my music more times than I'd like to admit, you never gave up on me. I'll never forget the time I spent at St. Stephen's singing around that keyboard and the wild summers spent at Peterkin. The years you spent putting up with my hyperactive crap, I will keep with me for the rest of my life. You gave me the gift of music and so much more, for that I am forever in your debt."

This tribute was added by Eric Devan on 16th January 2017

"I have too many fond memories of Mr. Riley to describe them all - but to list a few of the highlights: Choir camp at Peterkin and saying Compline, singing with the BSO, performing at the National Cathedral, the choir trip to Charleston, summers in Rehoboth, the Morgan convertible, completely forgetting the words of my solo as the Page in Amahl and the Night Visitors but singing menacing sounds nonetheless, Lessons and Carols at Cathedral of Mary our Queen, Biebl's Ave Maria, sticking together as a "homeless" choir after leaving Old St. Paul's, stating "God, I'm good!" after singing the part of the Cantor in rehearsal, beautiful Irish Setters (namely Jameson), smoking a pipe, drinking gin & tonic with ice cold London dry gin and Key lime, the smooth timbre and cadence of his eclectic and often humorous anecdotes...
In high school, we were asked to write an essay about someone in our lives who inspires us. I wrote about Mr. Riley.  He always treated me like and adult, even when I was in lower school. He respected my intelligence and wanted to hear my opinion. He shared his experience and wisdom to help me navigate the complexities of adolescence. He expected the most of me and was never shy about reprimanding me when I was out of tune, whether in the choir room or in life. He was always happy to give me a ride, or treat me to something to eat, or come to my school concerts. He cared for me in so many ways, but David Riley's greatest gift to me, and so many other boys and young men, was his love and appreciation of fine music - a love which transformed my life and persists in me to this day. Thank you, David, for inspiring me and adding so much richness to my life."

This tribute was added by Jai Seunarine on 14th January 2017

"The sound of that old beat up diesel Mercedes as it approached to pick me up from school, impossibly filled with choir boys like a circus clown car.  It smelled of pipe tobacco and Irish Setter.  The beautiful music and lessons for life learned from a great teacher, mentor, and friend.  Choir camp and the Dickey Farm Picnic.  These are my fondest memories of you David.  Your humanity and kindness made me a better person than I would otherwise have become.  Thank you for teaching me to sing and thank you for being a good friend to me and my family.
God Bless You.  Peace."

This tribute was added by Gail Meil on 12th January 2017

"David, Thank you for sharing your love of Choral music and knowledge of history, for your generosity of time spent teaching, talking and helping to transport my children to their various activities.  I will never forget the time you took Allyson to her softball games or arranging schedules so she could take swimming lessons at Kids First Swim.  I am certainly going to miss our walks at the park with Abraham and Stanford (how about the most recent time John brought Hunter along), our conversations and listening to your many amusing stories.  Thinking of them makes me smile even now.  I am honored to have had you as a dear friend and mentor to my son.  You will be sorely missed.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the Joy of the Lord”"

This tribute was added by Joyce Seunarine on 10th January 2017

"My dearest friend, you will always be in my heart and my prayers. I will never forget the inspiration, encouragement, and support that you gave to my sons.  You have been my friend for so many years, and I will never forget your many acts of kindness to me personally and to all of our family.  Rest in peace. May the holy angels watch over you in Heaven."

This tribute was added by James Mink on 10th January 2017

"Sir -

I hope you know the extent to which you forever impacted mine and many other lives. I spent last night thinking about what my life would have been like if I'd never met you; it wasn't pretty. You taught me about honor, respect, devotion, charity, discipline, compromise, faith, and of course, music. We debated the meaning of life, the purpose of love, and the key to happiness. You expected the most out of us, when others expected very little, and no matter how awful we were, you were  maintained those expectations but did not turn away. The impact of that kind of unwavering support is something I carry with me. You were the only mentor I ever had, and while there is a hole there now, I will do my best to share what I learned.

Thank you."

This tribute was added by Barbara Gilliss on 10th January 2017

"We have many beautiful memories because of David's incredible gifts.  Our boys enjoyed many years of making music,one of God's most precious gifts ,with David's guidance. Thank you David for sharing your blessed talents and soul with our family. Peace."

This tribute was added by Gordon Anderson on 9th January 2017

"Thank you for your fantastic artistry, gentle spirit, and love for God. It was a blessing to hear your incredible music, and a tremendous honor to serve with you. You will be sorely missed."

This tribute was added by Brad Boucher on 9th January 2017


I'm not sure I could ever articulate how important you were to me.  The course of my life was changed as a result of the profound experience of singing music under your direction.  

But, far more important was the way you listened to me with the attention and respect you showed a peer... even when I was only 10 years old.  The way you modeled respect, consideration, compassion, and integrity in all situations.  Your willingness to drive, and feed, and care for us so consistently is a testament to your dedication... not only to the choir but to us.

You were an amazing mentor, a unique friend, and a gifted musician.  I hope to impact even a few lives in the ways that you have impact so many.

I miss you enormously.  Hopefully the angelic choirs are performing up to your standards!


This tribute was added by Kathleen Brown on 9th January 2017

"Farewell, my old friend. Memories of you and your music live on in so many that you have touched.  Peace."

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This memorial is administered by:

Brad Boucher
Kathleen Brown


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