Betty Jane Nelsen Riley, 89

Published 10:26 am Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Betty Jane (BJ) Nelsen Riley, 89, passed away on March 30, 2012.

Betty Jane Nelsen Riley

She was born in Austin, Minn. on Sept. 25, 1922, to Albert and Caroline Nelsen. She was a graduate of Central High School in Austin and attended Strayer Business College and Stenotype Institute in Washington, D.C. She was Lutheran by faith and sang in the St. Olaf Choir for several years.

She was the Hormel company office receptionist in Austin prior to joining the FBI in Washington, D.C. Later she was employed by the District of Columbia Recreation Department as clerk of their board. The urge to travel took her to French Morocco as a civil service employee, then to Colorado to help build the Air Force Academy, then to the Panama Canal Zone. There she met and married her Air Force husband, Dick N. Riley. His assignments took them to California, Alabama, Taiwan, Ohio and finally Florida. She enjoyed sewing and knitting sweaters. Later in life, golf and bridge became her hobbies.

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She was preceded in death by three brothers, Raymond (Swede) Nelsen, Nels Donald (Pony) Nelsen, and Maurice (Mo) Nelsen. Survivors include her husband of 53 years, Dick Riley; son Daniel and grandson Dustin; daughter Linda and her husband Paul Vause; as well as several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Private inurnment services will be held at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla. at a later date. A celebration of life will be held at Soundside Club, Hurlburt Field on April 21, 2012, from 2 to 5 p.m. For military base security purposes if you do not have a military identification card you must RSVP by April 17. Please call 1-800-204-3238 to RSVP. Memorial contributions can be made to your favorite charity.

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