As an aide to the Joint Committee on Correctional Institutions and Problems, Jim Riley made several trips to Texas County as the state worked to select a site for a new prison. Eventually, the 1,600-bed facility was constructed on Highway 32 at Licking.
Riley, 65, died late last week at his home at Chesterfield. He was also a a former state representative.
Mr. Riley grew up in Richmond Heights, where his father, the late James A. Riley, was assistant police chief. The Riley name helped Mr. Riley get into politics.
He fell in love with the girl from across the street and they were married for more than 44 years.
Mr. Riley graduated from Clayton High School and attended Southeast Missouri State University and Washington University.
When he wasn’t in the Legislature, Mr. Riley worked as a master plumber. He was a lifelong member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562. More recently, he was a plumbing inspector for St. Louis County.