Mrs. Mildred Jones Riley, age 93 of Benton, KY entered into God's paradise on Sunday, March 16, 2014, at Baptist Health in Paducah, KY. She was a devoted member of Briensburg Church of Christ and was retired from International Shoe Company where she worked as a clerk.
She entered this world on Tuesday, July 13, 1920 in Ballard Co., Kentucky, to her parents, the late Bryan Jones and the late Georgia (Swatzell) Jones.
Mildred Jones was born a child of the depression and daughter to Bryan and Georgia Jones. She was raised to be frugal and cost-efficient. She lived her life that way. She loved to sew and often made her own clothes. She ALWAYS kept her sewing machine open just in case it was needed to patch something. Then in some cases, she patched the patch. She saved everything. She would save all the ketchup, mustard, butter, sour cream, salt, pepper and any other condiments given to her by restaurants. One time her grandsons emptied all the ketchup packets she saved and ½ filled a Heinz Ketchup bottle. She was also known to patch her husband JC's old overalls (then patch the patches.)
One name Mildred was known by was mother, by her beautiful daughter LaWanda (the grandkids wrote this), but the name she was known by from the family was Memama. The story goes that Greg, her first grandson, was having trouble saying grandmother and, what came out was “memama” and it stuck… for 50 years. From him, to his brother, to their 5 grandkids and then a step grandchild, she was the Memama.
Memama also loved being a “farm mom”. She would empty the hen house with her grandson while making sure he didn’t roust the hens. She would also watch over while they played in the hayloft of the barn.
Being a farm girl, she had her encounters with snakes. One morning Scamper, their old dog, was making a ruckus at the mailbox and after investigation found that a copperhead had curled into the mailbox. Memama calmly went and got her gun and whipped the flap open and emptied her gun into the snake. The poor snake didn’t stand a chance. Another time a harmless snake was cornered by the grandkids' pet Dachshund Sissy. The snake was harmless, but the dog was relentless, so something had to be done. Again, Memama grabbed the pistol. This time, it only took one shot, and that was right between the snake's eyes. No problem.
Memama loved to cook. She was famous in the family for her chicken and dumplings, her cornbread dressing, and her pies above all. She also loved to watch the Food network. If interrupted, she recorded them to watch later. She loved it all from Emeril to Paula Deen to Guy Fieri. And then she would say “I can make that.” Her versions were probably better. She would put her recipes in church cook books under JC’s name.
Mildred also loved animals. She had numerous dogs and cats. But she also named chickens and cows. She also treated her kids' pets as hers too. In her later years she found a great affinity to watching Cesar Millan, “the dog whisperer.” She wanted to understand dogs better even in her golden years.
She was sharp and alert right until her last day. She went through the grocery store fliers and searched out the bargains, loved to read magazines of all kinds (especially food related), did word search puzzles, occasionally baked a pie and kept up with the plots of her favorite soap operas. Her latest favorite celebrity was Jimmy Fallon, who she would stay up late to watch. (She thought he was “cute.”)
Most of all, Memana loved others. She loved her family. She loved her husband of fifty years, J C Riley (also known as Pappy), her brother Gene Jones of Chicago (who preceded her in death) her daughter LaWanda who survives her, her two grandchildren, Greg Hoover of Greenfield, IN and Scott Hoover of Marshall County, and 6 great-grandchildren (Rachel, Amanda, Jamison, Deidre, Alyssa and Jonathan). She lived for all of them. She also loved all of her extended family: cousins, Aunts, Uncles and all the rest. She loved to travel to visit them or attend family reunions. Memama and Pappy also loved to travel to attend his Pearl Harbor Survivor and ship reunions. (She even went to Hawaii twice even though she really didn't like to fly over the ocean.) She did things for people and most didn’t know she did them. As she got older and people were doing things for her, she was annoyed that she could do as for as much for them as she once did. Her family had to remind her of ALL she had done, to which she would relent and smile.
Memama may not be the most famous or prominent person you will read about today. She will, however, always be remembered for always working hard and doing the best she could whenever she could to make life better for her family and friends and put a smile on their face.
We are all lucky to be part of her circle.
We wish to say thank you to Dr. Danny Butler for his loving and professional attention to her, to the Baptist Health Paducah ER, CCU, ICU, Marshall Co Hospital ER and Home Health, the Palma-Briensburg Volunteer Fire Department Emergency Response and Marshall County Ambulance Service.
Surviving are daughter: LaWanda Hoover of Benton, KY; grandchildren: Scott Alan Hoover of Benton, KY, Gregory John Hoover of Greenfield, IN; and great grandchildren: Rachel LaCroix of Chicago, IL, Amanda Hoover of Nashville, TN, Jamison Hoover of Seary, AR, Deidre Patty of Greenfield, IN, Alyssa Hoover of Franklin, TN, and Jonathan Hoover of Franklin, TN.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband of 50 years: J.C. Riley, son-in-law: John E. Hoover, and her brother, Hugh Gene Jones.
The celebration of Mildred's earthly life will be at 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Collier Funeral Chapel located at 211 West 5th St. Benton, Kentucky 42025 with Gary Knuckles officiating.
Entombment will follow in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, Paducah, KY.
Gentlemen honored with the duty of pallbearer include: Jim Brown, Greg Hoover, Scott Hoover, Jamison Hoover, Milton Jones, Nate Jones, Nick Jones, Will Ables, Jason Ward, and Chris Gray.
The family will receive friends between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 21, 2014 at Collier Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be given to the West KY Youth Camp c/o Lone Oak Church of Christ, 2960 Lone Oak Rd., Paducah, KY 42003 or to the Easter Seals West Kentucky, 2229 Mildred Street, Paducah, KY 42001.