Michelle Irene Riley (Fitzwilliam) 73 of Coats, NC, passed away peacefully on February 4, 2021. A Private Family Visitation will be held at Rose & Graham Funeral Home in Coats, NC. A Graveside Service will be held at a later date in Quantico National Cemetery in Virginia.
She was born December 4, 1947 at Sibley Hospital in Washington D.C. and spent her childhood growing up in Maryland.
On October 21, 1966, she married William Lee Riley, the love of her life. Their adventures in the Army took them to Fort Leonard Wood, MO. where they made lifelong friends and wonderful memories. They had a love for classic cars and drag racing. She was known for being the best host for their yearly poker tournaments. They also lived in Ardmore, OK for a short time, but made a home and a life together in Manassas Va. One day he shared his vision with her to start his own business. She took all the steps to make his dream come true. In 1985, they started Riley Automotive and worked side by side for over 22 years together. Supporting one another they achieved the American Dream. With her business mind and his mechanical expertise they established a successful business that benefited the community and supported the family. They were always surrounded by friends. They enjoyed antique cars and going on Rod Runs. They never took a moment with each other for granted and cherished one another until the end.
Their love story of 54 years created three daughters, who absolutely loved and adored her. Kimberly Riley Gaddy & husband Nick Gaddy, Dona Riley & fiancé Shawn Dodd, & Shelly Riley. During the younger years she was a stay at home Mom. She loved decorating cakes for her girl’s birthdays and any other occasion. She enjoyed making homemade chocolates and Sunday Dinners. She stole the hearts of their friends and other kids in the neighborhood, as she became the second Mom to many. She enjoyed history and would load her daughters and friends in the car to take them to the National Battlefield, The Zoo, or Museums in D.C. She was always spunky, and full of fun energy.
She was also blessed with five grandchildren who were always the center of her life, Dylan VanDyke, Andrew VanDyke, Clarissa Adair & husband Robert Adair, Vaughn Betancourt, & Morgan Grace Gaddy. She brought them so much joy by teaching them how to cook, dancing in the kitchen. You could also catch them running around the yard chasing bugs, lizards and anything that moved. They took trips to the beach each year. It was a tradition each year to take her grandchildren back to school shopping. Most importantly, she had lots of heart to heart talks helping mold them into wonderful young adults.
Her greatest loves were her Great Grandchildren, Graham Adair, Ozzie Adair, Clay Adair and her sweet Belle Adair. Visits, calls and pictures of these babies brought her pure joy. She loved to share pictures of them with everyone. Although they were miles apart, the bonds that she created with her Great Grandchildren is irreplaceable. They will never forget her.
Michelle was passionate about her flower gardens and enjoyed canning her own vegetables. Although she was a tiny lady, her personality was huge. She was very outspoken, spunky, witty and larger than life. A lot of wisdom was gained through conversations with her. Her greatest joy was making Christmas morning magical and carrying on family traditions. Her zest for life was contagious to anyone who met her. No matter her circumstances in life, she always remained strong and resilient.
She was preceded in death by her Parents, John Hardy and Joy Demarr Pankake, brother James Pankake, sisters, Joy Fox and Dawn Pankake Shoop. Still living are her sisters and brothers Mary Ransone & husband Mike Ransone, Terri Fitzwilliam, Johnny and Ellen Pankake and Mike Fitzwilliam. She adored her cousins, nieces, nephews and honorary kids.
Arrangements by Rose & Graham Funeral Home in Coats, NC.