Thelma Riese-Witty

Obituary of Thelma I. Riese-Witty

Next run please Thelma Hoy Riese-Witty, 97, of Cortland, NY and formerly of Arizona, passed away peacefully on January 20, 2020. She was born September 4, 1922 in Groton, NY, the daughter of the late Ralph A. Hoy and Anna I. Hoy. Thelma was a graduate of Groton High School. She went on to business school and worked for several companies in the Cortland area. She was a lifetime member of Groton City Church, serving as church treasurer and in many volunteer positions. Thelma married her childhood sweetheart, Lawrence "Larry" Edward Riese in 1943. Upon Larry's discharge from the Army/Airforce at the conclusion of World War II, Thelma and Larry returned to Groton City, New York where they raised their two sons, Ralph and Leigh. As a family they travelled and camped throughout the United States. Thelma and Larry continued their adventures as "empty nesters" moving to Mesa, Arizona. Thelma worked for the City of Mesa until her retirement. She and Larry rounded out their work history by volunteering as campground hosts at Dead Horse Ranch, Cottonwood, AZ for 9 years. They spent their 50th wedding anniversary touring Germany with their son Leigh and his family. Thelma is survived by her sons, Ralph (Gayle) Riese of Colorado Springs, CO and Leigh (Sue) Riese of Arizona City, AZ; her brother, Gordon (Marie) Hoy of Groton, NY; her grandchildren Ryan (Amy Buggs) Riese, Nicholas (Diana) Riese, Leigh Gordon (Amanda) Riese, Scott (Abby) Riese, Ted Riese, and her 8 great grandchildren; Anna Leigh, Philip, Jude, Levi, Elisa Joy, Gloria, Emmitt, and Alexander, along with several nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her special friend, Larry Marsh of Groton, NY. Thelma was predeceased by her first husband Lawrence Riese and her second husband, Robert Witty; sisters Mary Miller, Betty Van Benschoten; and grandson, Al Riese. Memorial donations may be made to Groton City Church: Groton City UCC, c/o Herbert Gregory, 5179 Brake Hill Rd., Homer, NY 13077. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at Walden Place and Cortland Park. A Celebration of Life will be held for Thelma Irene Hoy Riese-Witty at Groton City Church on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 11:00 AM. Thelma's ashes will be returned to Arizona and united with those of her husband of 57 years Larry as per her request.. To offer online condolences visit