Remembering Camp Courageous supporter Tom Riley

Tom Riley was an incredible individual. I particularly loved his remarkable dedication and enthusiasm in every project he involved himself. I first met Tom in the 60s and almost 50-years later, had him sign the book that was given to volunteers helping him. A fascinating man, Tom & Nan stopped by Camp Courageous one day to discuss ways they could support the camp. From that meeting came, “Tom & Nan Riley Court,” a beautiful, large, outdoor, fenced-in, hard surfaced area that is used for basketball, games, dances and more. As usual,Tom was on the go, on his way to Cuba to represent a client after our visit.

A few years later came the call, “Charlie, can you use a train there at the camp.” The train turned into an activity everyone wants to do when they come to camp. Thousands of campers with special needs have been thrilled with the experience of riding the train! The train track is being readied now to head to the camp’s new lake.

Tom has left a beautiful legacy here at camp and through his family, friends, and all those he touched in so many different ways. He will be dearly missed. Our heart felt sympathy goes out to Nan and Tom’s entire family and friends.



I want to express my sincere sadness on the news of Tom’s passing. Please extend my sincerest sympathies to Nancy and the rest of Tom’s family. The donation of the train by Tom and Nancy to Camp Courageous train is still one of the top highlights of the projects we have done as a part of our M E Capstone Design Program and we have you and Tom to thank for the impact your involvement has had to our program. The benefit has been priceless.

I know that Camp Courageous, and you, have lost a dear friend and loyal supporter.

With Deepest Sympathy;

Jim Heise
Lecturer / Design Projects Coordinator
Mechanical Engineering Department
Iowa State University