Joe Riley

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Funeral services for Mr. Joe Riley were conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at New Hebron Baptist Church with Bro. Tommy Tanner officiating, assisted by Bro. Jeremy Knowles and Bro. Earl Clark.   

Interment followed in the New Hebron Cemetery with Dr. Matt Buckles officiating. 

Mr. Riley, age 86, entered into the eternal rest of his Lord late Saturday afternoon, March 23, 2023, at the Lawrence County Hospital in Monticello.   

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Saulters Moore Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.

The family received friends Wednesday morning, beginning at 9 a.m. until the hour of service at 11 a.m. at New Hebron Baptist Church. 

Mr. Riley was carried to his final rest by his grandsons, Justin Westmoreland, Jared Smith, Jordan Westmoreland, Eli Riley, Bret Linton and Blake Reeves. 

Honorary pallbearers included Samuel Parkman and members of the Myron Lee Sunday School class.

Mr. Joe Riley was born on Aug. 9, 1937, in Lawrence County to George Henry and Mary Nell Hutchins Riley.

A graduate of New Hebron High School, he played football for the Golden Bears.   

After high school, he embarked on a career as a bricklayer before transitioning to become a skilled tile setter.

His work ethic and commitment were truly commendable, qualities that would define his 42-year tenure at Diamond M Offshore Drilling.

In addition to his professional pursuits, Joe, together with his beloved family, managed Riley Farm – raising blueberries and later, hay.

The farm was not just a livelihood but a labor of love where everyone has their own story of learning to drive the tractor and learning what a hard day’s work was while making cherished memories.

In addition to enjoying woodworking, he was an avid hunter and fisherman. 

Tending to his chickens, guineas, and parrots also brought him immense happiness, reflecting his nurturing spirit.

Moreover, Joe’s commitment to his community shone brightly through his involvement at New Hebron Baptist Church.

As a dedicated deacon and choir member in years past, he exemplified his unending devotion to his Lord.

Above all his favorite pastimes, family gatherings were Joe’s favorite where he would captivate listeners with stories from his youth.

Mr. Joe, as he was affectionately called, was not only a gentleman, but he was truly a “gentle man.” 

His gentle demeanor and kind heart endeared him to many, especially the children who adored him for his sweet gesture of handing out peppermints at church each Sunday.

Joe’s warmth and generosity knew no bounds, leaving an everlasting impact on those whose lives he touched.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Riley is preceded in death by his first wife of 57 years and mother of his children, Patricia Collins Riley; his son, Jason Louis Riley; granddaughters, Amanda Hartzog, Jacy Riley; brothers, George Henry Riley Jr., Frank Riley, John Mark Riley and his sister, Sabra Sullivan.

His memory will forever be cherished by his wife of nine years, Karen Riley of New Hebron; daughters, Betty Riley (Charles) Smith of Holt, Florida, Amy Riley (Gene) Linton of Jasper, Alabama; son, Joey (Terah) Riley of New Hebron, daughter-in-law, Amy Riley of New Hebron; step-daughters, Teresa Roberts of Baton Rouge, Melinda Morgan of Selma, Tennessee, Christia Miller of Nashville, Tennessee; step-son, Jim Turnage of New Hebron and a sister, Nell Riley Myers of Jackson.   The legacy of their Papaw will also live on through his grandchildren Jenny Authement, Julie Buffington, Eli Riley, Sarah Hartzog, Justin Westmoreland, Jana McGough, Jordan Westmoreland, Jared Smith, Abby Crider, Carly Reeves, Riley Linton and Bret Linton, as well as a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Donations may be made to the New Hebron Baptist Church Building Fund, 311 Main Avenue, New Hebron 39140.

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