Mrs. Willie T. Riley passed away on Sunday, Dec. 14 in Berkeley.
Riley was born in Birmingham, AL on March 4, 1928. She accepted Jesus Christ at an early age and later self-converted to Catholicism and joined St. Augustine Church in Oakland.
Riley was a resident of Alameda County for over 60 years. She graduated from San Francisco State University and attained credits towards a Masters of Music.
She worked as an administrative analyst with the Army Corps of Engineers in San Francisco.
Her life revolved around music. Riley held the positions as music and choir director at several churches. She taught piano and voice lessons to many young people in the Berkeley-Oakland area and wrote a number of original gospel songs.
She touched the hearts, souls and minds of many children and their parents as she imparted more than lessons in music. She taught values and confidence – principles that served many people throughout their lives.
She leaves to cherish her precious memory her goddaughter Carol Duncan, friends, former students, and music colleagues.
A funeral Mass was held Tuesday, Dec. 30 at the McNary-Williams-Jackson Mortuary, 3630 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland.