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RilesWFORESTVILLE:  Warren H. Riles, CFSP, 79, of Main Street, Forestville, died Friday, March 20th, 2020, at Gowanda Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, from metastatic esophageal cancer which was diagnosed in January 2019.  Even though he was only there a week, he received excellent care from their staff.  He was born in Canonsburg, PA on December 4, 1940, the son of the late James A. and Florence E. (Houston) Riles.

Mr. Riles was a graduate of Palmyra Macedon High School, Class of 1959, a graduate of Syracuse University and a graduate of Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, Class of 1968.

He was a Licensed Funeral Director in both New York State & Pennsylvania and currently was President of Riles & Woolley, Inc., Forestville, which co-owns Riles & Woolley Funeral Home and Riles & Woolley Monuments.  He moved to Forestville on January 20, 1969, purchased the former Hole-Parker Funeral Chapel in Forestville almost 50 years ago, on December 15, 1970 and changed the name to Riles Funeral Home.  Mr. Riles started Riles & Woolley Monuments in April 1989 with Mark Woolley and formed Riles & Woolley, Inc. in 2001.  He served as a Chautauqua County Coroner for 41 years, retiring on June 27, 2018 and served as Chief Coroner for the last 9 years, where he participated with Starflight in numerous Mock DWI Crash Programs at many area high schools.

Mr. Riles was a member of many organizations including but not limited to; the National Funeral Director’s Association, the New York State Funeral Director’s Association, where he served on the Board as a former Super Region A Director, past member of the Budget & Finance Committee, Family Assistance Commission and Ad Hoc Committee, the Director’s Choice Credit Union serving as Secretary/Treasurer, the Chautauqua County Funeral Director’s Association, where he served as President for many years, a member of Erie Lodge #22 IOOF, Hanover Masonic Lodge #152 F&AM, Forestville, the Chautauqua County Police Chief’s Association, the American Guild of Organists, the Sons of the American Revolution, Newtown Battle Chapter and was currently President of the Forestville Cemetery Association.

He was a past member of the Chautauqua County Emergency Medical Services Council for 30 years, the New York State Association of County Coroners and Medical Examiners, where he served as 1st Vice President and was an exempt member of the Forestville Fire Department, where in the early 1970′s he served as Captain of the Rescue Squad and donated a hearse to be used as the first ambulance.  Mr. Riles also served on many Board’s for the former Village of Forestville and was a member and past President of the original Forestville Band Boosters.

Survivors include a brother, James G. (Beverly) Riles, of Bloomfield, NY, three nephews and two nieces.  Also surviving are special friends Mark, Ann, and Lynanne Woolley of Forestville, Michael Woolley of Chicago, IL and Matthew, Lindsey, Jason, Bryan & Madalynn Ellis of Fredonia.

Visitation and a Memorial Service for the public will be held at a later date when restrictions for funerals and public places are removed.  Private Funeral Services were held Sunday and private interment will be in the Forestville Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Forestville Fire Dept. Emergency & Rescue Squad, PO Box 299, Forestville, NY 14062.  Arrangements are by Riles & Woolley Funeral Home, Forestville.  To post condolences and share memories, go to


25 Comments on Obituary Notice – Warren H. Riles, CFSP

  1. Donna Gasper says:

    Such sad news, he will be missed, l will always remember his sweet smile and humor, sending Prayers, hugs and love to you Mark, Anne and Family

  2. David & Sally Rider says:

    We are so sorry to learn of Warren’s passing. Our sincere condolences to Mark and family. He will be missed”

  3. Ron Hasson says:

    Mark, I was so sad to hear this Saturday morning. Warren had called me just a couple weeks prior and said he was going to line up the funeral homes for the Mock DWI program. Of course the following week the Sheriff and I were compelled to cancel the programs for this year. I will miss him and his unique sense of humor!

  4. Virginia Becker says:

    Dearest Friends and Family of Warren,
    All the words I think of do not fully express the extent to which Warren Riles impacted our lives with his skill and demeanor. He was a responsible and ethical leader in his field and community, one who could be counted on at all times. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to know and work with him over the past 30 years. On behalf of the Sheridan Cemetery Association and myself, my wish is that all who knew and loved Warren will carry with them the fond memories of this special man. He will be missed, but I am assured that both his spirit and legacy are in good hands.

  5. Kathy Nelson says:

    Mr. Riles was a source of support and comfort for my family throughout the years. He was a perfect blend of compassion and professionalism. May he rest peacefully with those he blessed for so many years.

  6. Joe White says:

    It was an honor to have known Warren and I will never forget the compassion and professionalism he exhibited during the arrangements for both my parents.

  7. John Ward says:

    Warren was a long time colleague and friend. A true professional as funeral director and coroner.
    We have lost a fine gentleman.
    John Ward
    Former Co. DA
    Retired Co. Court Judge

  8. Angelo Benson says:

    Warren was always a kind, friendly, and generous neighbor to me as I was growing up as a teenager and living across the street from him. He would always let me and my friends play basketball on his property behind his business as long as there was not a funeral scheduled. We all thought he was a great guy.

  9. Dennis Casey says:

    To the Riles family and to Mark and his family:
    Please know that you have my condolences. Mark, you were blessed with a great mentor and the Forestville community has lost a valued citizen.
    Dennis Casey
    Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home
    Olean, NY

  10. Mark Phillips says:

    To Warren’s family and friends,
    We were sorry to learn of his passing last week and send our sympathy.
    I had the very good fortune to serve as both a Region Director and a member of our NYS FDA Family Assistance Commission with Warren over these past years. He remained a kind-hearted and sincere gentleman and truly cared about his families and his professions. I always looked forward to sitting and listening/talking with him at our numerous meetings. He will be missed and we are grateful to have him in our lives. Our prayers and thoughts going forward – Mark and Michele Phillips

  11. Kathy Kohler Bissell says:

    I would like to send our condolences in the of a wonderful man. He will bee sadly missed by all. Prayers to the family.

  12. Les Grummons says:

    My condolences to Warren’s family. I was always impressed as how he involved himself in his community as well as his professional affiliations, including the New York State Funeral Director’s Assoc. where we served together on several committees over the years. He will be missed.

  13. Janet Arnold says:

    Warren was such a kind, dedicated man. He always had good stories and a warm hello. Definitely a loss to the Forestville community.

  14. F. Joe Martin says:

    My condolences to Warren’s family. I served with Warren on the Board of the NYSFDA. May he rest in peace. Joe Martin Past President of NYSFDA.

  15. Tim Stockman says:

    So sorry to hear that Warren passed away. He was always good to me and shared his knowledge of cemetery protocol when I worked at various cemeteries. He was such a kind and gentle guy and so professional and caring in his work. I am a better person having known Warren. RIP my friend.

  16. Josephine Naeye says:

    I graduated with Warren, class of 59 , from Pal MAc Central school.
    I will miss him. Rest in Peace dear friend. Josie

  17. I am so sorry to hear of Warren’s passing. He was such a wonderful human being. Condolences to his friends and family. He will be missed. Rest in peace Warren. Donna Thompson

  18. My condolences to Jim, Bev and the friends and relatives of Warren. He was a kind, compassionate and good person. He was personable and made you feel special as a friend. I was blessed to know him.

  19. Jamie Militello says:

    Mark and Ann,
    I read this Sunday morning in disbelief. Warren was one of the nicest people I knew. He help my family through difficult times for three decades. He was great at his job, always professional but with a side of humor. One time I asked him how’s business? He replied, “Jamie, they’re just dying to get in” He will certainly be missed.

    Jamie Militello

  20. Rex McIntosh says:

    Mark and the RilesFamily

    Iwas sorry to hear of Warren’s death. I always enjoyed our talks at FD meetings or Coroner Assn sessions. I’m sure you feel your loss and Forestville has lost a great and dedicated citizen.

  21. Warren Meaker says:

    As a friend of the Riles family for 50+ years I would like to express my condolences to Warren’s brother James and family. My memories of Warren was of a man full of life and optimism and good spirits. I also am inspired by his wonderful sense of humor. I would imagine that was what drew so many people to him and was such a benefit in his chosen profession. He will be missed.
    JR and Brenda Meaker

  22. Norman L Waterman, CFSP says:

    I first met Warren, I want to say maybe 10 years ago when we both severed on the Family Assistance and the Finance Committees for the New York State Funeral Directors Association. Warren and I soon became friends, he was a soft spoken man, and he was a man of dignity, loyal to everything he belonged to, and a man of honor. I was sadden today to learn of his passing. Warren until we meet again, keep the finances in heaven in check. I will miss you my friend.

  23. Timothy Lillyquist says:

    I knew Warren from our high school days. Even then, his gallows humor was absolutely hilarious. One day when he was practicing on the pipe organ at the Episcopal church in Palmyra (where he was the “kid” church organist), he let me play it. It ignited my life-long love of the pipe organ and classical music in general.

  24. Warren was a great man. He was always supportive and helpful. He will be sadly missed

  25. E mack says:

    Such a gentle man. So kind and helpful during difficulty times. May he rest in

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