Riley John Gula, 26, formerly of Mechanicsburg, PA and Hilton Head Island, SC, died on Monday, August 9, 2021, while living in Richmond, VA. He was the son of Joann M. (Fuchs) Gula of New Cumberland and William P. Gula (wife, Michele R. Gula) of Wormleysburg, born on January 3, 1995 in Harrisburg, PA.
Riley went to St. Theresa School in his youth and would attend Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School before moving to South Carolina, where he graduated from Hilton Head Prep (2013). Four years later he would earn his bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Mississippi. This Phi Kappa Psi brother made the most of his Ole Miss education, and he was hired by ConeTec, a contractor specializing in geotechnical investigation and mining services – a job that would send him all over the globe. But long before he was a college graduate or career-oriented, Riley was a prankster with a quick wit, and he delivered a punchline like no other. He enjoyed tormenting his sisters as much as making them laugh, and his peers voted him Coming Home King his senior year at Hilton Head Prep. Boating, skiing and lifting were some of his hobbies, and he was a sponge when it came to sports knowledge. He ran Cross Country at MASH, and in between sports and school he played video games with his brothers and bonded with the four-legged animals in his life. Who knew that such a picky (and unhealthy) eater as a boy would grow into a talented health-conscious chef? Perhaps it had something to do with his falling out with Papa John’s Pizza. Riley was as spontaneous and goofy as he was decisive and entrepreneurial; he went through a phase of prank calling 911, while also taking the initiative to find employment at age 15 (with side hustles all the while). There was no grey area when it came to Riley – he was transparent throughout his all too brief life. His one-liners and sports commentary will be missed, but those closest to him take comfort in knowing that his mortal pains have been relieved.
In addition to his parents and step-mother, he is survived by his siblings, Zachary P. Gula, Emily A. Gula, Kaly K. Turkowsky, Alyssa K. Turkowsky and Ben J. Barone; his grandparents, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
A public visitation will be held from 5-6:30PM on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, New Cumberland, followed by a time for eulogies and prayer. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11AM the next morning, Thursday, August 19, 2021 at St. Theresa Catholic Church, New Cumberland, with a second visitation taking place prior to mass, from 9:30-10:30AM at the funeral home. If you cannot physically attend the evening service on Wednesday, but would like to share memories or words about Riley, please email email@example.com to obtain access to the Zoom session. A Celebration of Life will be scheduled for a future date in Hilton Head, SC.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in Riley’s name to NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness, PO Box 49104, Baltimore, MD 21297, or at www.nami.org.