Easterphine Riley


Posted: Friday, October 17, 2003

Longtime Juneau resident Easterphine Riley, 82, died Saturday, Oct. 11, 2003, in New York, N.Y.

She was born July 31, 1921, in Sparta, Ga., to Mathew and Josephine Williams. She was the sixth girl in a family of six girls and one boy. As a young woman, she left her home in Georgia and moved to Washington, D.C. There she worked as a practical nurse. She later met and married Luther Mack Riley.

In 1947, seeking a better life for their family, they moved from the South to Juneau, where Luther's brother lived. They raised their six children on Douglas Island and were members of the Church of God Mt. Zion.

In 1965, Luther died in a car accident. She took over Luther's business and later worked for the federal government. After she retired, she ran her own one-woman day care/nursery school for many years in the Mendenhall Valley. She sent all six of her children to college and some went on to achieve masters and doctorates. She was active in the community and was a quilter, a doll collector, a wonderful cook and a country-style storyteller.

Her family wrote, "In her 55 years in Juneau she has touched countless lives. Her boundless energy and generous, compassionate spirit is an inspiration to us all. She is loved dearly by many and will be greatly, greatly missed. She was devoted to her family and spent many wonderful times traveling the world, including London, Micronesia and beyond."

She is survived by her children, Luther Mack Jr., Larry Manning, Leonardo Milo, Lionel Micah, Leora Myra and LaVina Minette; grandchildren, Tera Wyatt, Luther Riley IV, Leonard Riley Jr., Larry Riley Jr., Libby Riley, Rose Ward, Lionel Ward, Luther Riley, Aurora Riley, Ariel Riley, Grace Riley, Abigail Riley and Devon Lee Gubrud; great-grandchildren, Riley Wyatt, Christopher Wyatt and Ivy Riley; and sons and daughters-in-law, Gloria Botts, Maureen Riley, George Davenport and Kent Gubrud.

The pallbearers and honorary pallbearers are Luther Riley Jr., Luther Riley IV, Larry Riley Jr., Kent Gubrud, George Davenport and Cleveland Burley. The alternate pallbearer is Robert Paulo.

Friends and family are invited to attend her funeral and visitation at Alaska Memorial Park and Mortuary, 3839 Riverside Drive, Juneau. Visitation will be held from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.

Flowers may be sent to the mortuary and donations may be made to the Easterphine Riley Hope Memorial Scholarship Fund, care of The Law Offices of Lionel M. Riley, 203 Kinoole Street, Hilo, Hawaii 96720.

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