Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority is saddened to announce the death of Heather Riley, ΦΦ, on July 8 after a long and brave battle with triple negative breast cancer. Heather most recently served as vice president on national council 2012-19.
Heather was first elected to the national council in 2012 serving as vice president of membership and then as vice president of operations beginning in 2016. She was a key contributor in writing the Sorority strategic plan. Prior to board service, Heather served Alpha Sigma Alpha in numerous roles including: Emma Coleman Frost Leadership Development Institute facilitator, convention project team member, member of extension presentations, District 9 district meeting coordinator and District 9 education coaching team member. She is a past president of the Greater Kansas City Alumnae Chapter and led the chapter to the Crown of Excellence Award for the first time. She also served as secretary, treasurer and convention delegate for that alumnae chapter.
Heather graduated summa cum laude from Northwest Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. She held the positions of chapter membership director and standards chairman during her collegiate experience. Following graduation, she was accepted to the graduate chemistry program at Iowa State University, where she earned her master’s degree in inorganic chemistry.
Professionally, Heather served her country in the United States Air National Guard, was a research chemist at Procter & Gamble Co. and was most recently the director of the Illig Family Foundation in Kansas City. Heather was passionate about making the world a better and safer place for animals and volunteered for numerous organizations that supported animal welfare.
No matter what challenges life threw her way, Heather always loved life and joyously lived each day to its ultimate good. Heather’s heart, genuine spirit, kindness and poise will be missed by all who knew her.
“Heather was a passionate woman who gave herself freely in everything she did. Her contributions to our Sorority are too numerous to list and her thoughtfulness and friendship will be missed by so many Alpha Sigma Alpha members,” said Kelly McGinnis Beck, national president.
For those who wish to make a donation in her memory, please consider two of her favorite organizations: