Life-long Hobby Brings Joy and Satisfaction to Craftsman

Author Photo
By Submitted by Norman Riley | Apr 29, 2021

Read about how one reader has crafted over 400 wooden models of farm equipment, trucks, tractors, and much more.

Norman Riley

My name is Norman Riley. I am 94 years old and I live at Charter Senior Living at Oak Openings in Sylvania, Ohio. I graduated from high school in central New York and went into the dairy business with my father and an older brother on a 195-acre farm in Sennett, New York. I also took up a woodworking hobby. Over the years, I have built well over 400 wooden models, mostly tractors and farm equipment, but also doll furniture, trucks and toys. I also developed a business repairing broken furniture for local antique dealers after my retirement from farming. My motto was, “If it is broken, I’ll fix it.”

I was also very active at the Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum in Auburn, New York, and served on the board for many years. Many of my models are on display there.


I moved to the Toledo, Ohio, area six years ago to be near my children. I set up a small woodshop in the garage of my condo at that time. Up until the time I moved to Charter, I donated wooden models and toys each Christmas that I had made through the year to a local television station’s Toys for Tots campaign.

Building these models has brought me great joy and satisfaction.

Norman Riley, Sylvania, Ohio

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