Alan battled cancer like he fought fires: strategically with careful judgment and with a fight to the end. Alan will be greatly missed. His zest for life, great sense of humor and his passion for people were a few of his amazing traits. Alan found humor in everything and made each person feel like they were the most important person in the world.
Alan was born in Gillingham, Kent, England. His career spanned the globe. At 17, he joined the London Fire Brigade where he stayed from 1967-1978. He then worked as a fire safety and security officer with British Petroleum from 1978-1981. He relocated to Abquaiq, Saudi Arabia, as the fire chief for Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco).
After being overseas, he settled in Robbinston, Maine, where he owned and operated a restaurant named Meril Inc. At that time, Alan naturalized into this country and became a U.S. Citizen, one of his proudest moments. Alan worked in Spokane, Wash., from 1987-1989 as an administrative manager for Camp Spaulding.
In 1989, Alan became district fire chief for Lockwood Rural Fire District 8 of Billings, Mont. Alan got Lockwood on its feet as he supervised a department of 14 full time men and 30 volunteers. Alan managed and operated a full 911 ambulance service that incorporated advanced paramedic services to the area as well as full fire coverage for approximately 80 square miles. He also served on many boards in Yellowstone County. In combination with his role as fire chief, he worked many evenings as the general manager for Guardian Security and Investigations in Billings.
Alan was qualified to carry a firearm in 2001 for Yellowstone County. He held a state of Montana/Yellowstone County Concealed Weapons Permit and was an NRA Certified Pistol Personal Protection Instructor. He was an NRA Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor for handgun and shotgun usage. He also held a State of Montana Certified Firearms Instructor certificate.
Alan retired when he began his battle with cancer after a 38-year fire service career. Alan and his wife, Jennifer Riley, and his son, Quinn, moved to Ridgway, where they opened the Garden Goddess Tea House. Alan loved his Harley Davidson Fire Edition Electra Glide Motorcycle; he and Jennifer took several rides. Alan could often be found in the garage building birdhouses or fixing anything from his car to household appliances. He will be remembered by all.
He is survived by his loving wife, Jennifer Riley of Ridgway, and his son, Quinn, age 9. He is also survived by his son Mathew P. Riley of England; son Christopher J. Riley of England; daughter Vanessa Billman and her son Brody Billman of Fort Riley, Kans.; and daughter Mariel B. Riley of Billings, Mont.
Jennifer and Quinn extend their greatest love and thanks to Hospice Care Center of Grand Junction and Hospice Care of Montrose for their amazing love and support of Alan and the family during this trying time.
There will be a memorial and celebration of Alan’s life on Saturday, April 11, in Ridgway. In lieu of flowers there has been an account set up to offset expenses for the family at Alpine Bank in Ridgway. Arrangements are under the direction of Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory, 802 E. Main St., Montrose, CO 81401 970/249-2121.