Michael D. Riley, 62, passed away unexpectedly in Galveston Sunday night, November 15, 2009.
Mike was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 30, 1947, to Earl and Lola Scarborough Riley, and the family moved to Mount Pleasant, Texas, when he was an infant.
Mike graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1965 and began his career with Gal-Tex Hotel Corporation, Inc., at the Baker Hotel in Dallas the same year. Well-known and admired by fellow employees, friends and business associates, he remained with the same company throughout his entire career, and was President of Moody Gardens and Vice President-Operations for Gal-Tex at the time of his death.
Mike held a number of progressively responsible positions with Gal-Tex, first as an accountant, then in sales and marketing, food and beverage and finally property management. He transferred from the Baker in Dallas to The Read House in Chattanooga, Tennessee, then to Kingsport, Tennessee, where he was General Manager of what was then the Ramada Inn.
In Tennessee, he was President of the Upper East Tennessee Tourism Bureau, a member of the Tennessee Governor’s Council on Tourism, a member of the Board of Directors of Holsten Valley Hospital, a member of the board of Junior Achievement, a member of the Board of Adult Education at Dobyns-BennettHigh School, and active in Kiwanis.
Mike was named Vice President of Gal-Tex and moved to Galveston in 1985. He became Executive Director of Moody Gardens, Inc., 10 years later, serving as the company’s on-site representative during the construction of the Discovery Museum, Moody Gardens Hotel and the Aquarium Pyramid. He was named President of Moody Gardens, Inc., in 2000, overseeing the entire operation of Moody Gardens while performing his duties as Vice President-Operations of Gal-Tex Hotel Corporation.
In Galveston, Mike served as a member of the Galveston Park Board of Trustees, a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Travel Industry Association, Salvation Army, Galveston Airport Advisory Committee and United Way of Galveston.
Predeceased by his parents, Mike is survived by his wife, Vicky Sparks Riley, of Galveston; son, Michael Brian Riley, and his wife, Susan, and daughters Grace and Caroline, all of Hendersonville, Tennessee; sister, Joan Cromwell and her husband, Phillip, and their daughter, Traci Krause; and brother, James, his wife, Karla, all of Mt. Pleasant.
The family requests donations be made to the Salvation Army in Galveston in lieu of flowers.
Visitation will be held from to Friday, Nov. 20, at Bates, Cooper and Sloan Funeral Home in Mount Pleasant, Texas, and funeral services are planned for Saturday at Nevills Chapel in Mount Pleasant. A Galveston memorial service is planned for December 1 at Moody Gardens.
J. LEVY & TERMINI FUNERAL HOME