Theresa Riley
In Memory of
Theresa M Riley (Zipps)
1926 - 2017
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Obituary for Theresa M Riley (Zipps)

Theresa M Riley (Zipps)
CHELMSFORD - Theresa M. (Zipps) Riley passed away at Lowell General Hospital (Saints Campus) on September 27th. She had just turned 91.

Born in Lowell in September, 1926 to John Thomas and Hannah (Neeson) Zipps, Theresa was one of nine children. The family first lived in the Acre before moving to the Highlands. She attended Lowell High School, graduating in 1944. Her grandfather John Francis started Zipps Bakery in Lowell; her father took over the business in the late 1930's and remained its' owner until he retired in 1963.

In 1948, she married Gerald F. Riley, also of Lowell. They lived in the Highlands, raised six children and were married for 64 years until he passed in 2012. In retirement, Theresa and Gerry initially lived in Dracut, and then they moved to Chelmsford.

In addition to working at the family bakery, Theresa worked in the food service business at local restaurants, caterers and eateries. She found her true calling and worked for 25 years as a Raytheon Company quality assurance inspector at their various plants in the Greater Lowell area before retiring in 1992.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by three sisters: Kathleen Zipps, Mildred Sullivan and Shirley Gilbert; three brothers: Walter Zipps, Thomas (Gerald) Zipps and Francis Zipps, and her daughter-in-law Ellen (Carroll) Riley.

She is survived by her sisters Eleanor McCann and Claire Patronick, as well as sister-in-law Joan (Riley) Underwood.

Theresa and Gerald had six children: Col Gerald F Riley Jr (USAF, Ret.) of O’Fallon, IL; Cathy Ann (Bill) Lewis, long-time Westford, MA residents now residing in Florida; Jane Marie (Bob) Veiga of Concord, NH; Ann Marie (Bob) Trottier of Andover, MA; Elizabeth Ann (Paul) Fontaine of Dracut, MA, and Christopher Joseph (Monica) Riley of Chelmsford, MA.

Grandchildren include: Jill Kenniston (Saco, ME); Katie Jobling (Apex, NC); Melissa Wilson of Belleville, IL; Mark Riley of O’Fallon, IL; Brent Veiga of Higganum, CT; Kristen McVaugh of Deerfield, MA; Justin Veiga of Andover, MA; Caitlin Trottier and Alex Trottier of Andover, MA; Nicole Fontaine, Shannon Fontaine and Samantha Fontaine of Dracut, MA, and Erin Riley and Sean Riley of Chelmsford, MA.

Her 14 grandchildren called her Nana; her 12 great grandchildren called her Super Nana, one of many examples of the love we all felt and how lucky we were to have her as the foundation and cornerstone of this family.

Friends may call at the Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home, 24 Worthen Street in Chelmsford, MA on Sunday October 1st from 3:00 to 7:00 pm during visitation hours.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Monday, October 2nd at St Mary’s Church, 25 North Road, Chelmsford.


Interment will follow at St Mary’s Cemetery in Tewksbury, MA.