June Annette Riley, 78, of Bentonville, AR passed away Sunday, June 4, 2017 at Circle of Life Legacy Village Hospice. She was born June 2, 1939 in Ladelle, AR.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James Leroy and Eunice McDaniel Blake and two brothers, James and Dean Blake.
June was raised in McGhee, AR and was class president of her senior class in 1957. She graduated from University of Arkansas at Monticello with a degree in education in 1961.
In 1963, June married Jack at the Dermott Baptist Church. They lived in North Little Rock, Camden, and Pine Bluff where they raised their children, Blake and Rebecca. Together, Jack and June moved to Bentonville six years ago, where they have loved meeting new friends and being closer to family.
June was an English teacher for over 35 years. She taught in Hobbs, New Mexico; Old Main High School in North Little Rock; Pine Bluff High School and for 28 years at Watson Chapel High School. June loved teaching, enjoyed her students, and made lifelong friendships with her peers.
June was known for her strict teaching style and great sense of humor. A former student once gifted her lightning bolt, which she proudly displayed above her blackboard. Should a student attempt to take a quick nap, they may be startled to feel the breeze of the lightning bolt buzzing by. Many of her students have kept in touched over the years and we are proud of her accomplishments and the lives she influenced.
She loved reading and writing poetry. Her grandchildren have received hand written cards, notes, letters, poems, and short stories by her that will be cherished for years.
She was a loyal friend with a big heart, still maintaining friendships since kindergarten, high school, college, and beyond. Friends from the past and newer friends became like family and they will remain precious to us always.
June was a faithful member of Watson Chapel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR and First Baptist Church of Bentonville. She taught Sunday school and participated in many children and youth special activities.
We, her family, will miss June, Mom, Mamaw, Mimi, deeply, however we know she is with her heavenly Father and we will be with her again one day.
June is survived by her husband of 53 years, Jack Riley; one son, Blake Riley and wife, Lisa of Rogers, AR; one daughter, Rebecca Barkhuizen and husband, Louis of Austin, TX and seven grandchildren. Sid Riley, Madeline Riley, Claudia Riley, Braydon Riley, Hunter Riley, Camille Barkhuizen and Anna Grace Barkhuizen.
Everyone who met June, knew how proud she was of her family. She often shared stories of her grandchildren and their accomplishments, as well as funny stories. Blake and Rebecca often joked with her how much she loved her daughter and son in law, our spouses and her grandchildren are our great accomplishment. Lisa and Louis were like a second set of children. June told us all many times how much she loved our spouses and how they were the best at everything!
Memorials may be made in lieu of flowers to a ministry dear to June’s heart, Operation Christmas Child - ShoeBox Gift at Watson Chapel Baptist Church, 5514 Pinnacle Lane, Pine Bluff, AR, 71603, or at First Baptist Church, 220 S Main St, Bentonville, AR 72712.
Funeral services will be at 11:00AM, Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at Stockdale-Moody Funeral Chapel in Rogers with Rev. Benny Thompson officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00AM until service time.
Graveside services will be at 1:00PM, Thursday, June 8th, 2017 at Dermott Cemetery in Dermott, Arkansas.