Obituary: Linnea Riley |

Obituary: Linnea Riley

Linnea Riley
Provided Photo
Linnea Riley

September 11, 1941 – August 12, 2020

Linnea Asplind Riley died in Solana Beach, California on August 12, 2020 from an aggressive blood cancer. Born in Oak Park, Illinois on September 11, 1941, Linnea grew up in Lombard, Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois with a Degree in Journalism.

In 1976, Linnea and her husband Michael moved to Aspen, Colorado, a place they had enjoyed years earlier with friends. Michael was interested in developing a business of his own and Linnea said she would help him in “Anything but retail!” Naturally, the couple opened the store The Best of All Worlds, first located in the Aspen Arcade. Each year the duo traveled to Europe to work with artisans and bring the best of all worlds home. In 1980 Linnea began working for the Aspen Times in the display ad department. She referred to this job as “The most important job of my life….full of interesting, lovely people and life long friendships.” She found tremendous enjoyment working with so many like-minded people.

Ever the creative entrepreneur, Linnea found a way to use her business acumen and creative talents to start her own business. After seeking the blessing of the originator of the poster calendar, Nikki Schumann, she created the first Linnea Poster Calendar in 1986. Her business started in a guest room on the basement level of her house in Snowmass. The calendars would be printed out of state and delivered by UPS up her steep, narrow driveway and carried through the first floor windows to be stacked in the basement. She saw her business grow from her basement to an office space with a warehouse in the Aspen Business Center. The success of Linnea Publishing eventually led Linnea and Michael to close their long loved store and concentrate their efforts on the calendar business. By 1992, Linnea and Michael moved to Seattle, Washington where Linnea Publishing moved to an even larger office and warehouse that is now part of the Amazon campus.

She began writing and illustrating multiple children’s books. Her book Mouse Mess received numerous awards and was even awarded Best All Around Children’s book in 1997, an award voted for by children. In 2017, the book was also chosen for “One Book for Colorado”, an initiative that gave free books to children via the public libraries in an effort to promote literacy.

In 2009 Linnea and Michael moved to Solana Beach, California to be closer to grandchildren.

Linnea was preceded in death by her husband Michael in 2018 and is survived by her daughter Johanna Riley and her children Alex and Anna, daughter Katie Riley Nakamura and her husband Bruce, and their children Rachel, Erin and Robin.

She was a loyal friend, wife, and mother who cherished good times, good humor, and good company. She lived a rich life filled with much success, but her ability to find true, meaningful friendships in each place she lived and worked, is the best testament to the person she truly was.