Claudia Riley, 101, of Highway 57 Hurdle Mills, gently transitioned from her earthly body to her celestial body on April 10, 2021, in the arms of her beloved daughter, Louise.
Born January 2, 1920 in Orange County, North Carolina, she was the daughter of Daniel and Berta Pearl Wilson. She was the middle child of 11 children. Her childhood was filled with work on the family farm and told stories of working with her dad in the fields. Her love for her siblings grew into a lifelong friendship that involved many trips to California, Virginia, and to the beach.
After graduating from high school, she began working at a hosiery factory in Burlington, North Carolina. During this time, she met John Lee Riley. They married in 1940. Their daughter, Louise, was born in 1941 and their son, Jeff, was born eight years later. When Louise was four years old, John and Claudia built their permanent family home in Hurdle Mills. After becoming a mom, she worked as a stay-at-home mom until several years after Jeff was born. When she returned to the workforce, her jobs included Peaches and Cream in Mebane, NC, and Wrights Bros. Machinery in Durham, North Carolina.
After a tragic car accident claimed the life of his son Jeff in 1969, his love for hairdressing earned him a certificate in cosmetology. After brief stints at hair salons in Alamance County, North Carolina, she opened her own home beauty salon, built by John and his friends.
Even though Claudia and John were completely opposed, they developed a love for camping. Claudia has therefore decided to take her semi-retirement. Around this time, they began to travel to Florida for the winters, where they made many friends. After John passed away, Claudia continued to spend time doing the things she loved so much. These activities included fishing on the Outer Banks with Winkey, Jon and Brett, playing BINGO with Tina, and working in her yard.
As forgetfulness became more and more frequent, the extremely difficult decision was made to transfer Claudia to Carillon Assisted Living, who is now Elmcroft Assisted Living, in Hillsborough, North Carolina, where she lived for approximately four years. .
Those who passed away before Claudia are her parents, Daniel and Berta Pearl Wilson, her husband, John Lee Riley, her son, Jeff Riley and siblings Woodrow Wilson (Mary), Blanche McCullock (Ollie), Aldean Rimmer (Willie) , Mary Oakley (Jim), Carrie Burch (Rainey), Vance Wilson (Ann), Mildred Eccel (Frank) and Maurice Wilson.
Remains to be cherished in her memory: her devoted daughter and son-in-law, Louise and Winkey Roberts, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, her grandchildren Cindy Faulk Fontana (Tony), Burgaw, North Carolina, and Jon Roberts (Lynne), Seminole in Florida; I really liked our great grandchildren Brett Faulk, Durham, North Carolina, Emma Roberts, Seminole Florida, and Watson Roberts, Seminole, Florida. Jada, Jordan and Breleigh Fontana are also popular. Surviving siblings include Bradsher Dink Wilson (Joyce,), Caldwell, North Carolina, and Katie Ellis, Williamsburg, Virginia; as well as many nieces and nephews.
This memory wouldn’t be complete without mentioning some special people who gave Claudia so much love and attention. This list includes Joel, Linda and Allison Knight, Cathy Wagner, special nieces Secdall Riley and Linda Riley Lunsford, and the staff of Elmcroft Assisted Living, who are now part of our family. Deborah and the staff helped make Claudia’s transition as loving, calm and peaceful as possible for herself and her family.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 10, 2021 at the Little River Presbyterian Church in Hurdle Mills, where she was the oldest member at the time of her death.