Richard Riley learned early in life that hard work will get you where you want to go.
When he attended Winfield Elementary School on 117th Avenue, he also worked for the local farms.
He made $3 a day caring for cattle, bailing hay and doing other tasks.
"He milked the cows before he went to school, after school and in between," said his wife of 52 years, Norma.
Richard C. Riley, 70, of Crown Point, died Jan. 26.
He grew up visiting the blacksmith shop in Palmer that was owned by his grandfather, Jerry M. Riley, his wife said.
"He and his brothers spent a lot of time there."
Norma Riley said she met her husband in grade school.
"We had 52 years of good life," she proudly said.
She added that "Dick" developed an early passion for cars after working at Wagner's Standard station on Joliet St. in Crown Point.
He began working in body shops doing restorative work and owned three Crown Point body shops through the years.
"It became a way of life and means for providing for five children," his wife said.
He eventually retired, but never stopped working, she said, adding that he enjoyed spending time with their 11 grandchildren.
He taught them all he knew if they were willing to learn, she said.
"He was very proud of them."
At the end of the day, he loved to sit on the deck and look out at his yard," Norma Riley said.
"He was a people person and a great neighbor," his wife said with admiration.
In agreement was Riley's neighbor, Stephen Martin, who said he was a wonderful neighbor.
Martin said Riley believed in hard work. "He was an artist that worked on four wheeled canvas."