Obituary of Ronald Riley

Dr. Ronald Ray Riley, age 81, passed away Monday, December 7, 2020, at his home in Kansas City, MO.

He was born on October 16, 1939, in Ft. Scott, KS, the son of Raymond C. Riley and Fern Kerr Riley.

In 1964, he married the former Sandra Bevis of Kansas City, MO, and they enjoyed 56 years of marriage.

Two children were born, Shawn Ray Riley and Deborah E. Hulsey, and both have grown to be responsible citizens. He was blessed with 6 grandchildren of which he was very proud. He was greatly loved and will be missed by all.

Dr. Riley practiced general dentistry at first and later the specialty of endodontics in Wichita, KS, for a total of 38 years. He practiced in every conceivable practice arrangement and gained his specialty degree and American Board Certification without benefit of a formal graduate program. History will remember Dr. Riley as the first Board Certified Endodontist to practice in the State of Kansas.

Following retirement from practice in 2002, he began a second career at the University of Missouri School of Dentistry as a dental educator (Clinical Associate Professor) in endodontics. He served UMKC for 16+ years. He also served Indian Health Service for 13 years as an endodontist. He also taught Dental Hygiene at Wichita State university for 15 years and was responsible with Mrs. Riley and others in 1968 for starting The Wichita School of Dental Assisting which is still going strong.

He graduated from Wichita East High School in 1956 at the age of 16 and received his A.B. degree at Wichita State University at the age of 20 and graduated from UMKC School of Dentistry four years later. Dr. Riley served in the US Air Force as a general dentist at the rank of Captain following graduation and prior to establishing private practice.

Some of his professional activities included life membership in The Wichita Dental Society, The Greater Kansas City Dental Society, Kansas and Missouri Dental Associations, American Dental Association, Diplomate, American Association of Endodontists, American Board of Endodontists, College of Diplomates, Omicron Kappa Upsilon and a Life Fellow and Missouri State Chair of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Dr. Riley selected for membership in the Sunflower Dental Study Group and he qualified for Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry. He was inducted as a Fellow in both the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. Dr. Riley has served as consultant to USAF, Veteran’s Association, Indian Health Service, and the Kansas Board of Dental Examiners. He was the recipient of many scholastic and academic honors including the prestigious David A. Moore Excellence in Teaching Award at UMKC School of Dentistry and was selected as the instructor of the year by his students. He was recognized as a Distinguished Teacher every year of his teaching career. He helped to train over 2000 students in endodontics.

Dr. Riley published research and clinical articles related to endodontics and contributed to dental texts and journals. He presented numerous continuing education courses and lectures throughout his career.

Dr. Riley was a member of Country Club Christian Church in Kansas City, Hillside Christian Church in Wichita, and First Christian Church in Ft. Scott.

Survivors include his wife Sandra; children Shawn and Deborah; and all his grandchildren.

Private family graveside services will be held in the U. S. National Cemetery in Ft. Scott, KS. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Rinehart Fund (Undergraduate endodontics) at UMKC – School of Dentistry and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701, or by calling (816) 235-2060. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

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