Legal 02

Mark F. Riley

April 7, 1953 ~ November 5, 2021 (age 68)


Mark Francis Riley, 68, of Gambrills, Maryland, passed away on Friday, November 5, 2021, peacefully in his bed surrounded by family at Howard County General Hospital. He ultimately succumbed to kidney failure stemming from a brief battle with Stage IV neuroendocrine cancer.

Mark was born on April 7, 1953, to parents Paul and Therese in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from Pater Noster High School in 1971, he went on to study history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, on an Army ROTC scholarship. He graduated and was commissioned as an Army officer in 1975.

After graduation, Mark began a 20-year career of active-duty Army service, serving in both the armor and military intelligence branches. In 1982 he earned his master’s degree in National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Following his tour at the Naval Post Graduate School, Mark was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) where he specialized in sub-Saharan African security affairs. In 1984 while working at DIA, Mark met Kim Kilgo, formerly of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, while their paths crossed on various Africa projects. They wed the following year, and would have two children, Paul and Jessica. The family lived initially in Burke, Virginia (1986-1989), then moved to Harare, Zimbabwe (1989-1992) where Mark served as the Assistant Defense Attaché. The family then moved to Camp Perry, in Williamsburg, Virginia (1992-1995) where Mark would complete his final military tour retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He received the Legion of Merit award for his distinguished service.

Following his military retirement in 1995, Mark and his family moved to Maryland so he could attend the University of Maryland School of Law to begin his second career as an attorney. Mark completed his J.D. degree in 1997, and then went on to open The Law Offices of Mark F. Riley, LLC, specializing in National Security law. Mark was a founding member of the Security Clearance Lawyers Association, and was selected by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington, D.C.’s top attorneys for National Security law in 2015. Mark retired from practicing law in 2017.

Mark had numerous hobbies and interests beyond his family and professional endeavors. He enjoyed books and film/television, particularly those related to espionage and historical events. He was also an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting and collecting firearms. While living in Zimbabwe, he was able to go on multiple safaris to hunt “big game.” In 2006, Mark went on a Kodiak bear hunt in Alaska. In 2010, he and Kim went on safari in Namibia for their 25th wedding anniversary. Mark also enjoyed traveling for leisure and went with Kim to Bavaria, Germany, in 2015 and Victoria, British Columbia, in 2017. Mark was also a dog lover, and is dearly missed not only by his human family, but also by his 2-year-old Brittany named Beau and his grand-dog Oliver, a Yorkie.

Mark was predeceased by his parents Paul and Therese of Glendale, California. He is survived by his wife, Kim Riley, of Gambrills, Maryland; son, Paul Riley, of Savannah, Georgia; daughter, Major Jessica Riley, of Savannah, Georgia; brother, Joseph Riley, of Eugene, Oregon; sister, Paula Riley, of Eugene, Oregon; brother, Brian Riley, of Alexandria, Virginia; niece Kristi Riley of New York, New York; and nephew Nicholas Riley of Austin, Texas.

For those who prefer not to send flowers, donations in Mark’s name may be made to one of his favorite charities:

Tunnel to Towers Foundation;!/donation/checkout

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center;


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mark F. Riley, please visit our floral store.


November 11, 2021

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory, P.A.
1411 Annapolis Road
Odenton, MD 21113

Memorial Mass
November 12, 2021

11:00 AM
Our Lady of the Fields Roman Catholic Church
1070 Cecil Avenue South
Millersville, MD 21108

November 12, 2021

12:00 PM
Our Lady of the Fields Catholic Church Cemetery
1070 Cecil Avenue South
Millersville, MD 21108


Tunnel to Towers Foundation

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

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