This obituary was submitted by Julia Sterrett.
The Baptist Banner February 24, 1927
by Floyd T. Holden
Mrs M. D. Riley
In the going home of Mrs. M. D. Riley, heaven is a little nearer and dearer for the presence there of one more loved and honored friend.
In my earliest childhood I knew Mrs. Riley. Affectionate memory takes me back to the days of my boyhood, youth, and young manhood, in Barbour County, West Virginia, when Mrs. Riley was in her prime. In those days she presided over her home in such a way that a visit there was a delightful experience never to be forgotten. Her kindness and never-failing courtesy and hospitality made her children's friends feel at home. Her mother love included all these young friends and was so exerted over them that their lives were enriched and ennobled by the ever present culture and refinement of her home. She was preeminently Christian in her home life. The writer remembers gratefully a late afternoon spent in her home when he was urged by Mrs. Riley to become a Christian.
Mrs. Riley was faithful at all her Christian duties as wife and mother, as neighbor, and as a member of her church. In her home she was ever ready to sacrifice and labor that her family might have every advantage for the present and for the future. Like the Roman matron of old her children were truly her jewels. This same love went out likewise to all her grandchildren. Neighborliness in its best forms and kindliest aspects characterized her dealings with all people of the community. To her Church she gave fullest loyalty. She loved its services, its activities, its ministrations, its divine message, and contributed always to its support.
Two things come to me as I write:
First, from George Eliot - "She had the attributes of a lady, high veracity, delicate honor in her dealings, deference to others, and refined personal habits."
Second I remember King Lemuel's words in Proverbs, "Her children rise up and call her blessed . . . A woman that heareth the Lord, she shall be praised." These express the life of Mrs. Riley.
Finally, "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yes, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."