Rosemary Riley

Rosemary Riley, age 91, passed away on June 3, 2019 at home after a brief illness, surrounded by her loving family. Born and raised in Jersey City, NJ, Rosemary was the daughter of the late John and Rose Sullivan. She was a graduate of St. Dominic Academy and was later employed as a secretary for the Jersey City Housing Authority.

            In 1953, Rosemary married her loving husband Richard E. Riley and traveled with him to Italy while he served as Lt. in the US Navy, it is here that their first-born child Richard Jr. was born. Upon returning to the states they lived in Ohio, New Jersey, New Bedford and Rochester, MA, before settling in Fairhaven. They recently celebrated their 66th Wedding Anniversary.

            Together with her family, they owned and operated The Sweater Shop and Whalerknits in New Bedford for many years. She was a communicant of St. Lawrence Martyr Church. Rosemary loved her time volunteering at Holy Family-Holy Name Grammar School as a classroom aide where she was loved and admired.

            Rosemary enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, working in her beautiful garden, making countless jigsaw puzzles and daily crosswords. She will always be remembered as a warmhearted, cheerful friend, charming companion and for her kind, gentle spirit and witty sense of humor. She was loved by all who knew her and will be missed dearly.

            She is survived by her husband; her children Richard E. Riley, Jr., Kathleen Lopes, Susan Frigault, Margaret Riley and Jonathan Arena, Patricia Grime and husband Tom, Maureen Baptista and husband Stephan, Elizabeth Mello and husband Andy; and eight grandchildren, Jesse Riley, Dr. Matthew Frigault, Laura Frigault, Andrew Frigault, Tommy Grime, Patrick Grime, Bridgette Grime and Daniel Mello.

            Rosemary was also survived by her sister-in-law, Janet Demanche, and several nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her two sisters, Mary Citarella and Bernadette “Bunny” Nicholson, both of New Jersey.

            Her Funeral will be held on Friday June 7th at 9 am from the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford, followed by her Funeral Mass at St. Lawrence Church at 10 am. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Visiting hours will be on Thursday June 6th from 4-8 pm. In loving memory of Grandma Rosemary and her love for children, donations may be made to Holy Family-Holy Name School, 91 Summer Street, New Bedford, MA 02740. For directions and guestbook, please visit

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