Excerpt from the 1970 Big Creek High School yearbook, written by Rosemary Carucci Goss:
Big Creek was deeply saddened by the death of Miss Freida Riley August 5, 1969. She had taught math, chemistry, and physics here for ten years. Her life should not be measured in terms of years, however; though brief, her life was one of accomplishment. She strived for and achieved excellence as a student, teacher, and person.
Miss Riley ranked first in the 1955 graduating class of Big Creek and first in the 1959 class of Concord College. She continued her studies in math at Ohio State University and West Virginia University. As a teacher, Miss Riley impressed and inspired her students with continued success.
Former students have much praise for her. “Miss Riley taught because she wanted her students to learn.” “She made people want to learn; she helped one understand the value of education.” “In all my years of education I have met very few teachers her equal in their devotion to their students.”
Her students and co-workers were also touched by the warmth of her personality. “She was a combination of intelligence, wit, compassion, empathy, and love, a rare combination.” One graduate might have expressed the feelings of all those who knew her, “I feel that my life has been greatly enriched by having her as a teacher and as a friend.”
Miss Riley did enrich the lives of many people. These people will long remember the influence of a devoted teacher and an inspiring individual. The greatest tribute that we can give is to emulate the principles by which she lived: a deep faith in God, the courage to face difficulties, a sincere concern for others, the unselfish quality to give of herself, a respect for knowledge, and the desire for excellence