Cover photo for Jeffery Reilly's Obituary
Jeffery Reilly Profile Photo
1962 Jeffery 2021

Jeffery Reilly

November 15, 1962 — October 29, 2021

A great man has passed. Jeff Reilly died on Friday, October twenty-ninth. Those who knew him will tell you his time was too short. He was just fifty-eight years old. Those same people will tell you how much happiness Jeff brought into their lives. He wanted to express gratitude to his son Owen and his wife Mitzi for all they did for him, but Owen and Mitzi want to thank Jeff for being such a giving and loving father and husband.

Jeff grew up in Saranac Lake. Early in his working career, he lived in Syracuse and Greenwich, New York. With some ingenuity, he was able to return to Saranac Lake to "work from home," something not so common back then. As a result, Jeff spent most of his life here. It was the best place for Owen to grow up, as it was for Jeff.

Athletics were always a part of Jeff's life. He played football and ski raced through high school. He was still racing until the Friday night last February when Matt Hinge discovered the tumor at the ER. Jeff went there because his throat was a little sore, and he had timed training Saturday morning. His 210 Rossi Super G skis stayed by the front door for a couple weeks afterwards. Thanks to Matt, and also to the doctors, nurses and staff at M. D. Anderson in Houston, Jeff got several months he might not otherwise have had. Further thanks go to Eric Pillemer and Sarah Ames at AMC, High Peaks Hospice, and George Cook.

After high school, Jeff played rugby for the Mountaineers in Saranac Lake, the Harlequins and Chargers in Syracuse and the Blue Goose in Breckinridge where he worked in a ski shop and skied many of Colorado's peaks. He and Kyle Munn were quite a pair, on and off the pitch. They were once known as Captain Pin and Major Stripe. It didn't have to be Halloween for those two to don costumes. One night, it was quiet at the Dew Drop, and a couple guys from out of town were there. The Captain and Major arrived in their pinstripe suits, one blue, one pink, mixed and matched, sleeveless, and with the lower legs cut off and fashioned into masks. No one in the place reacted beyond laughing and saying hello. Nothing unusual. Captain and Major got drinks and stood next to the out of town guys who became nervous and left.

Jeff competed in many triathlons. There's a nice photo of him with his dad Joe at the Montreal Iron Man. Dad was extremely proud of Jeff. Jeff, in turn, was very proud of Owen who meant everything to him. One of Jeff's greatest pleasures was watching Owen's ski races, lacrosse and football games, and recently, Owen playing guitar with his heavy metal band.

Jeff married Emily Fogarty. Though they separated and divorced, they remained a team as dedicated and loving parents to Owen.

Jeff enjoyed visiting Owen while he attended CU Boulder. He and Mitzi were there many times, along with their friends Tommy and Sandy Michael, and Cliff and Debbie Beairsto. Tom and Jeff were close for over forty years. He and Sandy and Jeff and Mitzi often went on vacations together.

Professionally, Jeff traveled the world. From Saranac Lake, he went often to Switzerland, China, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Singapore, India and Germany. Although he had lunch at the Panama Canal, skied the Wengen downhill course, and drank at Raffles where the Singapore Sling was invented, his absolute favorite part of travel was getting back home. He completed a program in global business management from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. He also received a degree in nutrition from American Health Science University. Jeff had a great experience working at Fortitech and then rose to the challenge of a new job with DSM as manager of their new innovation partnership with Nestle. They wanted him to move to Switzerland, but Jeff preferred to stay home. Later, he pursued promising opportunities at Prinova, where he recently concluded his work career as Manager of Global Business Development.

Jeff was very loving to friends and family and also to animals, especially dogs. Working as a vet assistant to Dr. Lopez in high school, a beagle came in who was found with both front paws in a foot trap. Jeff helped care for him and when no owner was found, Trapper came home with Jeff. There were other beagles and goldens. Jeff leaves behind Buddy, a beautiful and gentle golden who can retrieve from seven feet below water.

Jeff had a good eye for color and he could draw. Then there were the costumes he made, and at one point, he and Kyle talked about opening a hat shop! He was musical and liked the blues. B.L.U.E.S. in Chicago was his favorite club, along with Buddy Guy's. Nice to think he got that creative energy from his mom Jean.

Jeff also wanted to express his gratitude to his brothers Tim and Dan and their wives, Debbie and Aggie. But, like Owen and Mitzi, they all want to thank Jeff for being such a great brother and especially for the hours of recent talks and stories which were so immensely enjoyable. Jeff was one of the best story tellers and one of the funniest people you could meet. Jeff's nieces Sarah, Erica, Amanda and Hannah will miss Uncle Jeff greatly.

Mitzi and Jeff were acquaintances prior to meeting again, years later, through mutual friends at Winter Carnival. They recently celebrated their wedding anniversary. Jeff joked on that day that he knew how to show Mitzi a good time - they went to the funeral home. Tough but funny. That was Jeff. He and Mitzi had a wonderful life together, whether going out in the boat, cruising in the old Lincoln, vacationing or sitting at home. Jeff loved Mitzi very much.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. There will be no calling hours. A service will be held at St. Bernard's church on Saturday November Sixth, at 11 a.m.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeffery Reilly, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church

27 Saint Bernard Street, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

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