Cover photo for Terrance Joseph Riley, Ph.D.'s Obituary
Terrance Joseph Riley, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Terrance Joseph Riley, Ph.D.

June 20, 1951 — November 23, 2019

Terrance Joseph Riley, Ph.D.

Terrance Joseph Riley, Ph.D., age 68 of 10 Magnolia Dr., Danville, and formerly of Bloomsburg, died at 2:10 a.m. Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. He was born on June 20, 1951 in Flint, Michigan, son of Clarence Joseph Riley and Marie Germaine (Vanhecke) Riley. He was a graduate of St. Mary's High School in Mt. Morris, MI. He received a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the University of Michigan in 1973, a Master's Degree in English from Michigan State University in 1979, and a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University in 1982. He had a long teaching career and was much loved by generations of students at the former Northern State College in Aberdeen, SD; Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; and Bloomsburg University of PA, beginning in 1990.

Terry Riley's primary area of specialization was British Romanticism, but he maintained an interest in the whole of the "long 19th century," (ie; the art and philosophy of Great Britain from about 1750 through World War I). Another large part of his career had been English pedagogy; he came to Bloomsburg in 1990 to direct the Writing Center and remained in that position for twelve years. Recent research interests included 19th century technology and the British Empire in literature.

He was pleased to work at a state university, in special hopes of encouraging 1st generation college students, as he was one himself. He was proud of his work on both department and university retention committees and continually reworked his own curriculum to make it accessible to everyone.

Other interests included listening to classical music, watching Science Fiction movies (including B-rated), all things Steampunk, gardening, driving around in the countryside trying to get lost, and walking his cat, Ruby. This photo is from the dining room on Queen Mary II, on one of his Atlantic crossings to England. He had the driest, most acerbic wit and in department meetings always had his colleagues roaring.

Preceding him in death were his parents and his sister, Constance Yerrick. He is survived by his wife, Janet M. Locke, his parents-in-law, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, several dear cousins and nieces and nephews, and many treasured friends and students. 

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Dean W Kriner Inc Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 325 Market St, Bloomsburg, All are welcome to a memorial service for Terry at the First Presbyterian Church of Bloomsburg, 345 Market St, on Sunday, December 1, at 2:00 pm with the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth McCormick officiating, The service will be followed by a time for fellowship in the church Fellowship Hall.

If you care to give a memorial donation, you may consider Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble or Animal Resource Center of Bloomsburg, both local charities which were close to his heart. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Terrance Joseph Riley, Ph.D., please visit our flower store.


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