William Boatner Reily 3rd, chairman emeritus of William B. Reily & Co. Inc., died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on Jan. 5, 2015. He was 86.

Mr. Reily was a lifelong resident and generous benefactor of his beloved city of New Orleans. He attended Metairie Park Country Day and graduated from Woodberry Forrest School. He went on to Yale University and graduated from Tulane University.

Boatner was dearly loved by so many and will always be remembered as the consummate gentleman with his vibrant personality, compassionate nature, business acumen and generosity. He cherished New Orleans food and traditions, especially Carnival. For 10 years he served as Captain of Rex and in 1982 reigned as Rex. That same year he started the Royal Run, now an annual event that has become a cherished tradition. An avid runner, he completed several marathons including the Mardi Gras Marathon and the 1980 Boston Marathon.

Papa, as he was affectionately known by his family, religiously took his young grandsons to breakfast every Sunday and to Audubon or City Park to feed the ducks. He never missed an occasion to be with them or bring them to see the Mississippi River, his source of inspiration.

Boatner Reily and wife Wendy Griswold Reily spent summers vacationing in Edgartown. — Mark Lovewell

For the past 46 years Boatner vacationed with his family in Edgartown. He often said, “If not for Wendy’s extended family — the Bramhalls and Griswolds — I would be summering in Biloxi.” He loved the Island and could be seen around town having breakfast at the Dock Street Coffee Shop, sailing his catboat, Edwina B, up and down the harbor past Edgartown Yacht Club and The Reading Room. He enjoyed working out at The Boathouse and dining at Le Grenier Restaurant.

Mr. Reily is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years Wendy Griswold Reily; his daughter Elaine Stokes Reily and daughter in law Marilyn Rose Stern; his son William Boatner Reily 4th and daughter in law Caroline Toth Reily; his grandsons William Boatner Reily 5th and Hugh Bramhall Reily. He was preceded in death by his parents William Boatner Reily Jr. and Elaine Pujo Reily, and his grandson John Warburton Reily.

In his life he was touched by many people, including Jack Aron, Walter Cronkite, Walker Percy, Paul McIlhenny, Carroll Shelby and Paul Thomi.

A memorial service will be held at Audubon Tea Room, 6500 Magazine street, New Orleans, La. 70118 on Sunday, Jan. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Memorial donations would be appreciated to Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust.

Please visit and sign the family guestbook at lakelawnmetairie.com.

Hail to a life well lived!