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Mary Elizabeth Riley

September 26, 2016

Mary Elizabeth Riley of Corolla, NC, died on September 26, 2016, Mary was born on July 17, 1943 in Norfolk, VA. She was the daughter of the late William and Hazel Zoby and the mother to eight four-legged children: Gandolf; Chris; Kerry; Tuck; Bocage; Finn; Seal; and Chip who predeceased her.

Mary is survived by her husband Edward (Pat) Riley; her two four-legged children, Herbie and Mac; Brothers William Zoby and wife Brenda; Charlie Zoby; niece, Taber; nephew David; and best friend, Greta Gustavson.

A graduate of Old Dominion University with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Education, Mary retired from the Norfolk school system after nearly 30 years of service.

Among her many accomplishments, Mary established a branch library in Corolla; served as volunteer for Corolla Fire and Rescue for twenty years; worked as a nest mother for the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles; and was a member of the citizen Advisory Board of the North Carolina Estuarine Research Reserve. She was also a founding board member of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

Mary’s family would like to thank all of the medical staff of the Outer Banks Hospital; Sentara Norfolk General Hospital; Virginia Oncology; and all those who provided care and support for Mary.

Mary’s deep love for animals resulted in a better life for countless dogs, cats, and wild horses. Her family requests that Mary’s life be honored through donations to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, P.O. Box 361, Corolla, NC 27927

Plans for a memorial service for Mary are pending at this time. Condolences may be expressed via the online register at