Cover photo for James Riff's Obituary
James Riff Profile Photo
1936 James 2020

James Riff

August 29, 1936 — June 8, 2020

James Edward Riff died on June 8, 2020 of natural causes peacefully at his home surrounded by his family.

Jim Riff was born in Watova, Oklahoma August 29, 1936 to Calla (Beal) Riff and Gilbert James Riff.  He was the tenth of twelve children.  He grew up around the Nowata, Oklahoma area.

Jim was a member of the Oklahoma National Guard until he joined the U.S. Navy in 1957.  After being discharged from the Navy in 1961, he worked at various jobs until he was hired by Phillips Petroleum Company in 1963.  He worked for Phillips until retiring in 1998. Jim worked overseas for Phillips from 1973-1996.  He and his family lived in Norway, Scotland, Belgium, a second stint in Norway, South Korea, and a short time in China, before finally returning to the United States.

Jim was preceded in death by 5 sisters, Fayrene Attebury, Violet Bates, Madeline Scott, Doris Larmore and Leona Edwards, and 3 brothers Roland Riff, Roy Riff (infant), and Gene Riff.

He is survived by his wife of 52 1/2 years, Marylou, 2 sons, John W.C. Riff (Sandie) of Sheridan, OR and James Kyle Riff (Carrie) of St. Louis, MO. Seven grandchildren, John Riff of San Tan Valley,  AZ, Jennifer Dimant of Surprise, AZ, Samantha Riff of Newberg, OR, Sabrina Riff of Salem, OR, Maxwell Riff, Indiana Riff and Evelynn Riff all of St. Louis. He is also survived by 5 great grandchildren, as well as by his sister, Juanita Cochrun of Odessa, TX, brother, Alfred Riff of Pittsburg, MO and sister Donna Hults (William) of Harrah, OK and numerous nieces and nephews

He leaves behind his faithful little dog, Tina.

Jim will lie in state on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 starting at 8 am - 8 pm.  He will then lie in state at Benjamin Funeral Home in Nowata, Oklahoma on Friday, June 12, 2020.  Graveside services will be held Saturday, June 13. 2020 at 1pm in Memorial Park Cemetery, Nowata, Oklahoma.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Riff, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, June 12, 2020

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Benjamin Funeral Service


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Graveside Service

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Nowata Memorial Park

S Pine St, Nowata, OK 74048

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