Funeral service for Mrs. Carlene Austin Merrick Riley, 75, died on March 31, 2021, of Monroe will be 11:00AM Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Grace Episcopal Church with The Right Reverend Jacob Owensby, Bishop of the Diocese of Western Louisiana and The Rev. Don Smith, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00AM until service time Saturday in Kilbourne Hall at Grace Episcopal Church. A Private family interment will be Monday, April 5, 2021, in the Natchez National Cemetery in Natchez, MS, under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home Monroe. Mrs. Riley was born on March 25, 1946, in Morrilton, Arkansas, to the late Virgil H. Merrick, Jr. and Betty Ruth Coleman Merrick. She Studied at Mississippi State College for Women and Memphis State University before graduating from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing as a R.N. She later earned a degree in Human Resource Management from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. From early childhood, Carlene had always wanted to be a nurse. She used to practice surgery on all of her dolls. Her nursing career spanned 40 years and included her working in Public Health, Hospital, Clinics and Surgery, which was her love. She closed her career by fulfilling a lifelong desire to teach. She taught in the LPN program at Delta Community College and was recognized for her achievements by being awarded the Accent on Excellence award for 2006. She retired from nursing in 2008. Carlene was a faithful member of the Episcopal Church and was active in the Order of the Daughters of the King serving as president of a local chapter and later as president of the Province 7. She served the community as a member of the board of the Children’s Coalition. Her hobby was playing bridge. Her love was her family.
She is survived by her husband of 52 years, The Reverend Gregg L. Riley; daughter, Carolyn Riley Kirk (Daniel) of Falls Church, Virginia; son, Matthew Taylor Riley and Fiancé Amy Hawthorne Davis of Monroe; granddaughters, Hannah Hunnicutt, Heidi Hunnicutt of Knoxville, Tennessee, Holly Hunnicutt of Nashville, Tennessee; grandson, Daniel (Buck) Kirk IV, of Falls Church, Virginia.
Pallbearers will be Matt Riley, Daniel Kirk, R.B. Green, Bernard Sager, Dr. Tommy Dansby, Jamie Patrick, Dr. Oladapo Lapite, and Lamar Barnette. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Ed Hooten, Billy Haddad, Billy Caldwell, Joe Trimble, and Dr. Herschel Harter.
The family would like to thank the staff of Caring Hands Hospice for their loving attention and care, especially to Kim Coleman, R.N. and Tony Biden and for her personal caregiver and friend, Ms. Tressa Carpenter.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis Tennessee or to the charity of your choice.
Online Registry/Condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com