Ann Marie (Mills) Riley, 73

Ann Marie (Mills) Riley, 73, died unexpectedly on Aug. 18, 2014, in Traverse City. She was born on June 17, 1941, to Thomas O. and Marjorie E. (Eddy) Mills in Plainwell.  
Ann graduated from Plainwell High School in 1959 and then attended dental hygienist school at the University of Minnesota. Over the years she worked as a dental hygienist, a bank teller and an airline reservationist. For the last 45 years she grew and harvested cherries in Traverse City.
Ann was one of the first women in many of her agriculture and orchard courses.  She thrived working in the cherry business with her husband of 34 years, Joseph A. Riley.  Ann nurtured long-term friendships with many of the young people who worked in the orchard and the many longtime customers who came back year after year.  
Ann lived in Colorado for a time where she fell in love with the mountains. She spent about two years in the 1960's traveling around the world in a VW bus, and she and Joe enjoyed many winter months in Florida and Arizona.  
Ann loved to garden, with a passion she learned from her mother, and worked with an industry and focus that she learned from her father. She was a crafter, baker of pies and seamstress extraordinaire.  
Ann is survived by her husband Joe; two daughters, Julie Keil (David) and Shelly Howland (Donald); plus several grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Thomas J. Mills (Daria); and two nieces, Jennifer (Mills) Harrison (Rob), and Annaleise (Mills) Mulder.  
She was preceded in death by her parents.  
Ann will be buried in the East Martin cemetery near her parents and five generations of her ancestors.  
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to your local food bank.


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