Thomas William Riker

  • "Tom was the man who inspired me to get in the pool and swim..."
    - Beth Knauff Miller
  • "Tom was a friend and colleague who was loved and respected..."
    - Michael Denis
  • "To the Riker Family. I had the pleasure of having Tom as..."
    - Ron and Linda Maxim
  • "I am so sorry for your great loss. May the God who binds up..."
  • "I had Tom Riker for homeroom he was a great teacher and an..."
    - Pj French

Thomas William Riker
1951 - 2018
AUGUSTA - Thomas Riker of Cedar Street, Augusta, passed away peacefully on Feb. 26, 2018, at age 66.
Tom was born in Lewiston, on Oct. 3, 1951, the son of Lucille Croteau Riker and William Earl Riker.
He graduated from Lewiston High School and the University of Maine at Farmington with a bachelor's degree in education. He went on to earn his Masters in Education from the University of Maine at Orono. Tom was active in the Boys Scouts, earning his Eagle Scout in 1963 (signed by John F. Kennedy days before his assassination). He worked at Camp Hinds in Raymond for many summers.
He taught for over 30 years in the Messalonskee School District, mostly in the high school science department. Though he loved teaching, Tom was most passionate about youth sports. He competed in swimming in high school and soccer and track and field in college, and was a life-long student of the games, helping thousands of young athletes. Tom established the Messalonskee High School swim team in 1976, coaching the boys and girls teams for 26 years. He helped start the Messalonskee girls soccer team in 1983, coaching them for three years. Tom coached Messalonskee track for 17 years, and loved running the clock and announcing football, basketball and field hockey games. Tom was especially active with the Maine Swimming Officials Association for nearly 40 years, working meets at the age-group, high school, and college levels. He loved working Colby College swim meets for 30 years, and was proud to be invited to officiate several national NCAA meets. His commitment to youth sports will be his lasting legacy.
Tom had many interests including cooking, fishing, reading his Bible, food and fellowship and was an avid locavore, supporting local farms (especially the Goranson Farm in Dresden) and regularly attended the Common Ground Farm. His passion for sports extended to Boston, and he always had an opinion regarding how the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, or Red Sox could play better.
He is survived by two daughters, Gretchen Riker Gardner and her husband Chris of Bremerton, Wash. and Katrina L. McKinney and her husband Clint of Acworth, Ga.; two grandchildren, Abby and JP; his brother, Richard Riker and wife Alison of Cape Elizabeth, sister Michelle Bannister and husband John of Blue Hill; seven nieces and nephews; and close friends, Paul Nelson and Sue Kistenmacher.
A special thanks to the nurses and doctors of Maine General Medical Center and all who helped Tom through the years. Tom was a friend to all, and many said that he "never met a stranger".
A celebration of Tom's life will be held in the summer.
Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home and Cremation Service, One Church Street, Augusta. Memories, condolences, photos, and videos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of our website at

In lieu of flowers,
donations may be made to:
Maine Swim Officials Association which will establish the Tom Riker Memorial Swim Scholarship
Please make checks payable to:
Maine Swim Officials Association
15 Sandy St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Funeral Home
Knowlton & Hewins Funeral Home
1 Church Street
Augusta, ME 04330
(207) 623-8722
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Published in Central Maine on Mar. 4, 2018