June 8,1946 ~ April 29, 2016

Mary E. Riley-Cheek, 69, Prairie Village, Kansas passed away at home from neuroendocrine cancer Friday, April 29, 2016. She is survived by her husband Patrick J. Cheek, daughter Megan Christine Cheek, both of the home. She is further survived by her uncle Robert Feigenbaum, Creve Coeur, Missouri and cousins Dorothy Akley, Clayton, Missouri, Robyn McHale, Naples, Florida, and Keith Feigenbaum, Murphysboro, Illinois.

Mary was born June 8, 1946 in Sheridan, Wyoming to William L. Riley and Ruth F. Riley. She was predeceased by her twin sister Dorothy “Dottie” Riley (1997), her father (2002) and her mother (2006).

Mary graduated from Sheridan High School in 1964. She attended Stephens College, Columbia, Mo. and graduated in 1968 earning a BS degree in business.

Mary began her career at Neustetter’s Department Store, Denver, Colorado. Mary bought sportswear separates, sweaters and knitwear. She attended fashion shows seasonally in Paris, Milan, London, and New York City where she met and maintained business relationships with designers, manufacturers and other retailers. She maintained a lifelong friendship with the Neustetter family.

In 1975 she became buyer and manager of the sportswear department for Swanson’s at the Country Club Plaza where she and her assistants set revenue records.

On Labor Day 1980, Mary, Terry (Mosely) Benson and Keith (Roden) Jenkins (deceased) attended the Nouveau Blue Collar Workers’ God Bless America Annual Labor Day Shit-Kicker held by several alumni of the University of Missouri at the former Fairyland Amusement Park in south Kansas City. There she met her future husband, Patrick J. Cheek, Kansas City, Missouri. From that moment forward, they were rarely apart.

In 1981, Mary and Pat became engaged and Mary began to rethink her career. She decided to trade the relentless pace, travel and holiday demands of the retail business for a more normal life. She decided that if she could negotiate with garment manufacturers, especially those in New York City’s Garment District, that she could negotiate commercial real estate sales and leases. She then became an associate of Cohen & Company and was a protégé of the late Roger Cohen.

Mary and Pat were married July 10, 1982 in Sheridan, Wyoming. The five day event was a story unto itself and enjoyed by everyone.

In December 1990, Mary and Pat adopted their daughter Megan, who was the pride, joy and focal point of Mary’s life.

After Roger Cohen passed away in 2002, Mary decided that a change would do her good so she began an association with Colliers, Turley, Martin & Tucker, now Cassidy Turley. In late 2011 she joined Newmark Grubb Zimmer where she spent the remainder of her career.

During her 32 year real estate career, she specialized in commercial office leasing and sales. She represented many significant institutional accounts as well as private landlords. She closed nearly 21,000,000 square feet in total career transactions.

Mary’s professional affiliations included the National Association of Realtors, the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) and the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors. She served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors. She was also an alumna of the Chamber of Commerce Centurions Leadership Program.

Mary was profoundly affected by the loss of her twin sister, Dottie, to cancer in 1997.
She helped found Gilda’s Club of Kansas City, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community. The organization is dedicated to providing, at no cost to members, a comprehensive and professional program of emotional support and education designed to enhance the mind, body, and spirit of people whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Mary served on the Board of Directors from 2004 through 2013 and then on the Finance Committee until January 2016. Mary identified and negotiated the Club’s location at 21 W 43rd Street, Kansas City, MO as well as helped recondition Club building, which opened in October 2013.

Mary and her family were also Ronald McDonald House Charity volunteers and worked Christmas holidays to relieve staff and enable them to spend time with their own families.

She was also a former Board Member of the Camping Connection and supported numerous other charitable organizations including the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, Harvesters, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and many more.

Mary also volunteered for various events and fund raisers of St. Paul’s Episcopal Day School and Notre Dame de Sion.

Mary loved dogs and cherished her Scottish Terriers: Josh, Corrie and Goldie. She was a supporter of WaySide Waifs and other animal rescue organizations.

Mary lived with intention and fought for what matters. The challenges she faced only served to reveal her strength of character and capabilities. She was a perfect example of what it looks like when beauty meets substance.

Mary’s funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21, 2016 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 11 E. 40th St, Kansas City, MO 64111. Following the ceremony, the family will host a reception and tributes at Mission Hills Country Club between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Signature Funerals, 8019 State Line Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64114 is assisting in arrangements and more details can be found at www.cathyb6.sg-host.com or by calling 816-214-5174.

Rather than flowers the family suggests remembrance contributions to the local chapter of Guilda’s Club, Ronald McDonalds, Wayside Waifs, St. Paul’s Episcopal Day School, Notre Dame de Sion High School, or the charity of your choice.

The family would like to thank all the friends, neighbors, relatives, groups and institutions for their memories, compassion and deeds.

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