Victor J. Riley, Jr., 86, of Cody, passed away at West Park Hospital in Cody on July 21, 2018.
Victor was born in Buffalo, New York, to Victor and Genevieve Riley in 1931. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Notre Dame in 1953 and served two years in the United States Army.
He began his banking career in 1955 at National Bank of Miami, where he served in the Trust Division. He joined First National Bank & Trust Co. in Albany in 1964 and was named president and CEO of the holding company in 1973. The bank soon changed its name to KeyCorp and flourished under Victor’s leadership.
Victor was Chairman Emeritus of KeyCorp. He retired his position as Chairman in 1995 after a 26-year tenure. He oversaw the growth of KeyCorp from $1.2 billion in assets and 89 offices to $67.7 billion in assets and more than 1,300 banking offices extending from Maine to Alaska.
In 1992, he was appointed chairman of a Commission on Higher Education established by the New York State Board of Regents. He is an immediate past Class A Director of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and is a past director of the Association of Bank Holding Companies. He is past president of the New York State Bankers Association. He served as chairman of the board for the College of State Rose in Albany for nine years.
Victor was instrumental in the formation of the Center for Economic Growth in Albany. He was chairman of the board of trustees for the Urban League of Greater Cleveland and also served as chairman of the Pius XII Foundation, which provides essential life-saving services to young and old alike. He served on the board of the Albany Medical Center, Clarkson University, and Verizon. In February 1989 he became a member of the State University of New York at Albany Foundation, which also bestowed upon him the 1989 Citizen Laureate Award. He is a recipient of the Tree of Life Award from the Jewish National Fund, the LaSallian Man of the Year Award from LaSalle Institute, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors Distinguished Banker Award, the Arthritis Foundation’s Accolade for Community Service Award, the Boy Scouts Distinguished Citizen Award, and the prestigious Medal of Life Award from Pius XII Youth and Family Services. In May 1995, he received an honorary doctor of law degree from Dowling College and in June 1995, he was Dowling College’s Distinguished Citizen Award recipient.
He has served as chairman or honorary chairman of numerous fund-raising efforts which include: The March of Dimes, the Cerebral Palsy Center, the Urban League of the Albany Area, Inc., St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Morehouse School of Medicine, Camp Good Days and Special Times for Terminally Ill Children, and Pius XII Youth and Family Services. In 1985, he was invested as a Knight of Malta in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He was the 1996 WalkAmerica National Banks Industry Chair.
Victor and his beloved wife Lyn lived in Cody since 1995. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and is a founder and past president of the Boys and Girls Club of Park County. He also served as a chairman and board member of the Victor J. Riley, Jr. Ice Arena and Community Events Center.
Victor and his wife, Lyn, chose Cody for retirement because of his passion for the beauty and wildlife Wyoming offered. He loved to travel, fish, and prepare wonderful meals from recipes he acquired from all over the world. Victor especially loved the Tuscany region of Italy. He traveled there often spending months at a time.
Victor loved fishing in exotic places like Belize, Aruba and Alaska. It didn’t matter if he dropped line or trolled, he just always enjoyed a day on the water with a pole on his hand. He and his longtime friend and associate, Leslie Rose, loved to plan trips all over the world. He always surprised someone with the opportunity to travel with him. He was a generous, fun-loving man, who loved his family and community.
He is survived by his brother Thomas Riley (Nancy) of Dunnellon, Florida; his son Col. Victor J. Riley, III, (Lesley), of Hubert, North Carolina, daughter Karen M. Riley of Reno, Nevada, daughter Patricia Jo Toor (Larry) of Orlando, Florida, son Kevin P. Riley (Laurie) of Billings, Montana, son Shawn M. Riley (Patricia) of Strongsville, Ohio and daughter Mary Katherine Gibson (David) of Yelm, Washington; 16 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his closest friend and associate of 40 years, (“What’s my title today, Victor?”), Leslie Rose.
Victor’s beloved wife Lyn preceded him in death in 2010.
Rosary services will be on Friday, July 27, 2018, at 3 p.m. at The Church of St. Anthony in Cody. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, July 28 at 10 a.m. at the church with interment to follow at Riverside Cemetery in Cody. An online memorial and guestbook is available at www.BallardFH.com.