Mona Riley, 73, Franklin

Mona Netherland (Heck) Riley passed away peacefully on Friday, May 17, 2024, with her daughter, Hannah, by her side. Mona was born July 15, 1951 in Greensburg, Indiana, the daughter of Frederick and Dorothy (Deer) Netherland. She was a 1969 graduate of Greensburg High School and a graduate of Ball State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics and a masters degree. She was a teacher at Franklin Community High School for 40 years (1974 – 2013), during which time she was presented with an award for Seniors’ Choice – Most Influential Educator in 1999. She married Clifford Heck in 1989. From that marriage, they had their only child, Hannah. Mona later married Michael Riley in 2015.

Mona’s great passion was investing in the lives of others, especially teaching. Mona was an avid music lover, an accomplished pianist, directed the church choirs at both Franklin and Greensburg churches. She played and sang in choirs (she could also tap dance!). Mona was reserved in nature, but passionate about many things including counted cross stitch, sewing, quilting, embroidery, and clothes. She was always trying her hand at new crafts including basket-making and watercolor painting.

She had a remarkable sense of humor and loved to crack jokes (mostly puns). She always loved a party – everything from tea parties to family holiday dinners at the Kopper Kettle restaurant. Mona was known for her gift of hospitality, and no one was ever turned away or left the table until ‘stuffed’ with her many special and delicious dishes. She was a loving mom to her daughter Hannah and a compassionate caretaker to her mother. Mona had a deep and abiding faith in God and was dedicated to her church and her beliefs.

Mona’s memory will be carried on by her daughter, Hannah and her son-in-law, Kevin McGill of Indiana; two brothers: Mark (Becky) of Illinois and Vincent (LuAnn) of Wisconsin; five nieces: Kacy Skelly, Sara Zitnik, Charity Robertson, Rebekah Robertson and Megan Straber; three nephews: Henry Netherland, Jonah Robertson, and Daniel Robertson; cousins: Roy Deer, Glenn Deer, Carol Gehrs, Leah Netherland, Walter Netherland, Anita Heintzman and J.T. Netherland; and many other relatives, former students, and friends who will miss her deeply. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Michael Riley.

Services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Greensburg, IN on Thursday, May 23, 2024 with visitation from 11:00am to 1:00pm. A funeral service, also at the church will begin at 1:00pm with interment at South Park Cemetery.  A Celebration of Life Open House will be held at Victory Christian Church at 1720 Graham Rd (Door 22) Franklin, IN 46131, on Saturday, June 15, 2024 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the March of Dimes. One of Mona’s passions while teaching Child Development was the well-being of mothers and babies, which is why the March of Dimes held a special place in her heart.