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Obituaries

Frank Riley; Acclaimed Author and Travel Writer

April 30, 1996

Frank Riley, one of the best-known travel writers on the West Coast, whose work appeared regularly in Los Angeles magazine and The Times, has died. He was 80.

Riley, whose real name was Frank W. Rhylick, died Wednesday in his sleep at his Manhattan Beach home of complications from a stroke he had suffered a week earlier.

As travel editor of Los Angeles magazine and an award-winning contributor to several other publications, Riley traveled the world and frequently wrote with his wife of nearly 60 years, Elfriede. In 1976, the couple walked and biked the 800 miles of the 1776 De Anza expedition from Mexico to San Francisco and wrote the resulting book, "De Anza's Trail Today." Former Times book critic Robert Kirsch rated their effort "a lovely book this, possibly the best of its kind this Bicentennial year."

Born in Hibbing, Minn., Riley grew up in Wausau, Wis., and attended college in Ripon, Wis. He began his career as a reporter for the New York Daily News, eventually covering the White House.

He served in the Merchant Marine during World War II and after the war moved his family to Manhattan Beach.

During his long and varied career, Riley wrote advertisements for See's Candies as well as screenplays, novels and short stories. He had concentrated on travel pieces for the last 30 years, and was active in the Society of American Travel Writers.

In addition to his wife, Riley is survived by a son, Peter; daughter, Anne; sister, Dorothy, and four grandsons.

A memorial service is scheduled at noon May 17 at Manhattan Beach Community Church, 303 S. Peck Ave., Manhattan Beach.

The family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the Frank Rhylick Memorial Fund at the church.

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