Claydene Riles

Obituary of Claydene Narcissus Riles

Mrs. Claydene Narcissus Johns of Colorado Springs, Colorado, passed away on Thursday, July 27, 2023 at the age of 90.

She was born to parents Louis William Johns and Claydene Narcissus Johns on February 9, 1933 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Claydene, affectionately known as 'Little Clay', was born two months and four days after her father died. Claydene had three older sisters and two older brothers who were all very close knit. They were raised by their mother ('Big Clay'), grandmother, and aunt. 

Little Clay grew up during the Great Depression and her family was considered "below standard income". However, they never considered themselves as being poor because they had food, clothing, and a home. 

Little Clay and her siblings grew up going to church. She attended an all girls high school,  played team sports as a teenager, and hoped to be a Physical Education teacher but wasn't able to afford college.

She was very close to her mother,  was always very well-behaved, and would spend time caring for her grandmother. 

During high school, she worked at the Philadelphia Children's Hospital in the kitchen, where she met Nathan Riles, who worked there as a dishwasher and cook.  They started dating and, four years after graduating, they were married. 

Nathan joined the United States Marines and she became a dependent wife. They had six children together (five sons and a daughter) and Nathan's career would lead to joining the United States Air Force. During Nathan's time in service, he was stationed at military installations in Virginia, Turkey, Kansas, Iran, Hawaii, New York, and Colorado where Nathan would eventually retire from the military.

The Riles' moved to Colorado Springs in 1976. In January 1979, Claydene joined Cornerstone Baptist Church (Grace Baptist Church) where she and her son, Jerald, were both saved then baptized in August 1981. She was a faithful member until her passing.  She was a homemaker for 21 years, from the time she became a mother until she began working in 1977 as a Lead Instructor at TRW Electronics where she was well-respected and coworkers began lovingly calling her 'Mother Riles'. This nickname spread to her church and volunteer circles as well. After retiring, she volunteered at Peterson Air Force Base in Family Services from 1992 until 2022.

Claydene loved the Lord with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She raised her children to follow in her footsteps of being born again believers. She was deeply loved and admired by all who knew her. 

Her greatest joys were her husband, children, grandchildren, and their following generations. 

Her husband passed away on July 27, 2018. In December 2021, Claydene gifted her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren with a trip to Hawaii to pay tribute to her late husband, Nathan Sr. It was one of her most memorable family occasions and filled her with the greatest joy in honoring him this way as it was his wish for their family to return to Hawaii together someday. 

In 1960, her husband presented her with a King James Bible. On March 9, 1974 she wrote the following message dedicated to him and their children:

To my beloved husband:

To my children:

God is love: I pray we all believe in God. I do.  I only hope that we will all be accepted into His Holy Temple. I need to get closer to Him, so that the death of anyone of you will be like a sweet lovely part of giving you to a God Who only lent you to me. God can do this through His Son, Jesus, Who we have to go to. I'll get help. I know I am far from it now, but in time....

After me, this Bible goes to my husband, who will, after him, give it to the oldest and he in turn will let the others take it into their houses for a time to share with their families but return to him...only at his death to go to the next oldest.

Love always, 

Wife & Mother

Claydene was preceded in death by her mother, Claydene Riles; two sisters, Arline Tabron-Barr and Oveita Pittman; her two brothers, Floyd Johns and Donald Johns; her husband, Nathan Riles,  Sr.; and two grandchildren, Danielle Ashton Riles and Jacquelyn Rosa Lee Coleman. 

She is survived by her six children; Nathan Lee (Linda) Riles, Jr., Christopher Allen (Kent) Riles, Jeffery Maurice (Lucinda) Riles, Sr., Jerald Marteen Riles, Sr., Eric Lee (Natalie) Riles, Sr., and Charla Anne (Riles) Coleman; 23 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great-grandchild.

Funeral Service, 10:00AM, Tuesday, August 8, 2023, Grace Baptist Church, 3500 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80907, with a private burial to follow.

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Funeral Service

10:00 am
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Grace Baptist Church
3500 N. Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States