John Thomas “JR” Reilly MBA ’93 was born on Aug. 14,1963, in Palo Alto to Tom and Dayle Reilly. He completed two years at UC Santa Cruz, then transferred and received his chemical wngineering degree from UC Berkeley, followed by an MBA from SCU. After finishing his undergrad degree and taking a few months to travel through Europe, John jumped straight into high-tech sales with KLA Tencor (formerly Tencor) and remained in high-tech sales for 33 years. His last job was with Dell doing OEM sales. John embraced his work, especially the hunt for customers and working deals. On Sept. 23, 1995, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in downtown Palo Alto, John married Kelly Rose Lipon, and it wasn’t long before they were blessed with their children Melanie (July 1998) and Johnny (February 2002). John, a native Palo Altan, knew of no better place than Palo Alto to raise their children. He loved sharing stories about growing up in Palo Alto with his wife and kids. During drives around town, John had a tale to share around every corner—about his Little league years, the Kipling Street Gang, his newspaper route, working at Baskin Robbins and Lou Shell gas station, going to midnight movies at the Varsity Theatre, bowling, ice skating, riding mopeds, etc. And as one can imagine, there were a handful of stories that John chose NOT to tell. He was an avid music lover and had a particular passion for blues. During his single days when traveling for work, he followed his favorite blues artists at venues across the U.S. and added in a handful of pleasure trips to New Orleans. Prior to having a family, John also spent lots of good times with friends, traveling, boogie boarding and going out on the town. Going out served him well one June night in 1993 when he met Kelly at Gordon Biersch Brewery (now Dan Gordon’s) in downtown Palo Alto. For the record, Kelly did not give John her phone number that night, but he figured it out, and two weeks later they had their first official date. Yes, some things are just meant to be. Over the years, John enjoyed playing the guitar, and for nearly two decades played regularly at the 10:30 a.m. Mass at his neighborhood church, Our Lady of the Rosary. He very much enjoyed playing softball with his friends, many of whom he knew from elementary, middle, and high school—and every time he was up to bat he swung at just about everything for the home run! John relished his weekend time, starting early in the morning doing yardwork: planting, pruning, sometimes hacking (per Kelly) bushes, trees, etc. Additionally, friends and coworkers can attest that John was known for his quick wit and VERY dry sense of humor. John’s dry wit was put to good use at the many social events that he enjoyed with his children, including Dads & Daughters and Dads & Sons groups, coaching or helping with Johnny’s Little League and Melanie’s softball teams, working in the classroom as a parent aide, being a parent volunteer on field trips, and attending or hosting school fundraising events for various parent parties. He also helped as a lunch time “noon angel” at the local middle school and had his own style. When telling kids to pick up their trash, he’d point and say “What’s up? Are you waiting for your mom to do it for you?” He enjoyed time at his former high school campus, volunteering at PALY events as much as his kids allowed. John was very social and loved mingling at parties, going out on date nights with Kelly, sometimes combined with other couples and meeting the guys out here and there for a beer. A devoted son and brother, a loving and most wonderful husband, an exceptional Daddy, a fabulous family member, and a dear friend to many, John passed away peacefully in his home on July 26, 2019, just a few weeks shy of his 56th birthday, after bravely carrying on with life for nearly three years with a glioblastoma brain tumor. John was preceded in death by grandparents Thomas C. and Eleanor Reilly and Vince and Marie Antongiovanni, cousin Mary Alanis, some dear friends and coworkers, and some of his favorite blues artists. He is survived by his wife, Kelly, his two children, Melanie and Johnny, his parents, Dayle and Tom Reilly, his sister Carolyn, his in-laws John and Patricia Lipon, brother- and sister-in-laws Todd and Jodi, Randy and Jenni, Rob and Laura, and nieces, nephews, cousins, and very dear friends whom he loved like family.

29 Aug 2019