Riley James Hutchens was born in Billings, Montana on November 8th, 1995 to Harold and Dorene Hutchens. He was born on our great state of Montana’s 106th birthday which he took great pride in. Growing up Riley was an adventurous and sweet freckled faced boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine. He spent many hours riding his bike pretending to serve and protect the community by being all the different roles of a first responder. While it was all pretend then it would later become his reality. He always knew he wanted to save lives. Riley was extremely intelligent and gifted. He spent his whole school career as an honor student. Through-out his high school years he enjoyed participating in Speech, Drama, and Debate. He was an extremely skilled debater. This worked to his advantage many times in his life. Basically, the moment Riley turned 18, he became an E.M.T. He would actually skip class to answer ambulance calls all while maintaining wonderful grades. He then graduated from Laurel High School in 2014. Riley worked for the Laurel Volunteer Ambulance service. He put in an endless number of hours devoting his time to the community of Laurel and the surrounding areas with the ambulance. He was an extremely devoted E.M.T. He was always trying to find more ways to continue his education and skill. He spent a great amount of time spreading his knowledge and inspiring others by teaching E.M.T. classes. Riley eventually became the Director of Emergency Medical Services for Laurel. Riley always had a job helping the community. While he wasn’t working on the ambulance, he worked as an Emergency room tech, then a 911 operator, and then as an anesthesia and OR tech up until his death. Riley was an extremely hard worker and while he hardly took a moment to do the things he loved, he loved the outdoors, spending time with his family and friends, and traveling...especially to Seattle. Riley had a great sense of humor and could not pass up the idea of playing a prank on someone or scaring the living daylights out of them. Riley truly enjoyed his nieces and nephew. He made a huge impact on their lives. He was always teaching them and introducing them to new things.
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Unfortunately, Riley passed away unexpectedly on November 20th, 2020. He is proceeded in death by his paternal grandparents Jim and Maxine Hutchens, maternal grandparents Chris and Jessie Christenson. He leaves behind his best friend and partner Sean Murphy of Billings, MT, parents Harold and Dorene of Laurel, MT, brothers Melford and Justin Hutchens of Perley, MN, sister Samantha (Corben) Thomas of Jordan, MT, sister Janna Ives of Powell, WY, his nieces Tila and Delainey, nephew Braiden, and his beloved best pal, his dog Navi. Riley also leaves behind his extended family and many friends.
Riley has saved, taught, inspired, and touched the lives of many in his short life. He was a hero. His memory will be loved and cherished by all who knew him. There will be a viewing open to the public on November 24th, 2020 from 1:00pm – 7:00 pm for those who would like to pay their respects. A celebration of his life will be planned for a later date when times are brighter and the weather is warmer.
“Grief is the price we pay for love”- Queen Elizabeth II