THERE WILL BE NO LIVE STREAM OF THE SERVICE AT THE CHURCH!!!
FACE MASKS ARE REQUIRED!!!
James Claude Riley, Jr. was born to the late James Claudie “Bud” Riley, Sr. and Jewel Ellen “Mama Jewel” Gentry Riley on Saturday, November 20, 1948 in Durham, NC at Duke Hospital. He was called home to rest on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital.
James was educated in the Durham Public School System, graduating in the Class of 1967 from the historic Hillside High School previously located at 1900 Concord Street. He furthered his education by taking courses at Durham Technical Institute (DTI) studying computer sciences; North Carolina Central University (NCCU) where he briefly perused a business administration curriculum; and later, Wake Technical Community College (WTCC) with a focus on enhancing his culinary skills and catering entrepreneurship.
With an extensive work background, James tediously and meticulously found his niche in life. In his early years, he worked as a pizza maker, a merchant car mechanic at Rigsbee Tire Sales, later working at Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company. Eventually James enlisted into the United States Navy in 1977. His four-year naval stint took him around the globe including Orlando, FL, San Diego, CA, Subic Bay in the Philippines and Diego Garcia with the British Navy, and finally at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba serving in the capacity of Radio Man (RM) with other military administrative duties. After James’ honorable discharge, he began a career at Nortel Networks Corporation (formerly Northern Telecom) where he worked for 18 years as a computer technician servicing the District of Columbia and South Carolina Regions, soon afterwards taking early retirement in 1999.
James C. Riley, Jr. was never one to become idle! He began working for MCI of Cary, NC until he decided to slow down his work pace and enjoy a semi early retirement. His love for the culinary arts came to full circle. For many years, James served as a cook in the cafeterias at The United House Of Prayer For All People® (U.H.O.P.F.A.P.®) in both Durham, NC and Raleigh, NC. On some occasions, he was honored to share recipes or cook special dishes for Leaders of The United House of Prayer as well as catering for employee work functions. If a festivity was happening and people learned that James Riley was cooking, it was a wrap. They knew to arrive early! He was legendary with various entrée and side dish specialties. His homemade cheesecakes, at least 3 inches high, were always a hit. While keeping his culinary interests in action, he also worked part-time for the Wake County Public School’s Transportation Department as a safety assistant to students with different abilities. Finally, he spent a few hours per week assisting at his nephew-in-law’s soulfood restaurant, Funderburk’s Café & Catering, LLC in Greensboro, NC.
Deacon James C. Riley, Jr. was a faithful and dedicated member of The U.H.O.P.F.A.P.® where his name was placed on the roster at birth. He served in various capacities while attending The U.H.O.P.F.A.P.® in Durham, NC inclusive of: President of Presidents; member of the Banking Committee; member of the Male Ushers; one of the founders and members of the Sons of Soul Shout Band; founder and director of the Peace and Love Ensemble; founder and director of the McCollough Day Singers; founder and director of the Raleigh-Durham Combined (RDU) Choir; one of four founders of the Great Greensboro District State Choir, and overseer of the Greensboro District State Convocation Display Performances. He had a fond love for singing and later playing the tambourine on the Spiritual Sounds Band of Durham, NC. It was in Durham, NC where he was elevated to a deacon. While attending The U.H.O.P.F.A.P.® in Raleigh, NC, Deacon Riley was instrumental in establishing the Warriors for Christ Choir; the One Voice Choir, and served as a dedicated member of the Business Board. His favorite choir was the Chimes of The U.H.O.P.F.A.P.® in Washington, DC. He always said that if he ever moved back to Washington, DC, he would seek membership.
While James C. Riley, Jr. was never married and had no children of his own, he took on the guardianship of his sister’s (the late Sybil Alice Riley Mack) two children, Delvon and Kim when she passed in 1985. Their father, the late Charles Manuel Mack, passed in 1982. Throughout James’ life, he made sure his sister’s children were loved, taken care of and supported. He was a proud uncle and marveled at how he helped them become thriving adults.
Deacon James Claude Riley, Jr. was a loving son, brother, nephew, uncle-dad, great-uncle and friend. He was endeared and loved by all he knew and those who knew of him through others. James admirably enjoyed some of the finer things in life often speaking about his visits to London, Amsterdam, and Austria. He was affectionately called “Boolem” by his family and friends.
James Claude Riley, Jr. is preceded in death by his father, James Claudie “Bud” Riley, Sr.; mother, Jewel Ellen “Mama Jewel” Gentry Riley; one sister, Sybil Alice Riley Mack; brother-in-law, Charles Manuel Mack; special friends, Delois Williams, Dorothy Hughes, Lilly Graham, Linda Summers, Ellen Guy and Charles Patterson; and, God-niece, Loree Williams.
He leaves to cherish an abundance of loving memories: his niece-daughter, Dr. Kimberly Mack (Travis III) Funderburk of Greensboro, NC; nephew-son, Elder Delvon L. (Brandi) Mack, Sr., Pastor of The United House Of Prayer For All People®, Sacramento, CA; great-nephews, Elder Delvon L. Mack, Jr., Charles William Mack, and Justin Mack, all of Virginia, and Langston Manuel Mack of Sacramento, CA; great-nieces, Travia Jewel Funderburk of Greensboro, NC, and Brianna Sybil Mack of Sacramento, CA; brother-cousin, Vincent Lawrence and sister-best friend, Patricia Dillard, both of Durham, NC; special cousin, Vinese “Alvin” Gentry of Durham, NC; God-son, Erih Dillard of Durham, NC; God-brothers, Elliott “Peter” Hughes of Charlotte, NC, Edward (Esther) Hughes of Durham, NC, Juan (LaTonya) Williams of Nashville, TN, Paul (Leticia) Hughes of Raleigh, NC, and Elder Harris (Patricia) Williams of Durham, NC; God-sisters, Henryetta Hughes (Osamuyi) Otoghile of Orlando, FL and Jean Williams of Raleigh, NC; close friends, Jeff Brown of Raleigh, NC, and Gwarthney Harvey of Atlanta, GA; and an extended family lineage of the Gentry, Riley, Mack, Lawrence, Cooper, Hughes, Williams, and Dillard Families with a host of relatives and friends.
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