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DEBORAH A. RILEY

November 13, 1952 March 8, 2017
DEBORAH A. RILEY
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Obituary for DEBORAH A. RILEY

DEBORAH ANN JONES RILEY ("Debbie") was the beloved daughter of the late Joseph Wesley Jones and Vivian Wheeler Jones. She was born in Washington, D.C. on November 13, 1952. She went Home to God on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. In between her sunrise and sunset she shared more than 39 years of marriage with her husband Larry. Together they raised three wonderful children: daughter Natlie Lorraine Riley and their sons (the late) Jordan Edward Riley and Aaron Zachary Riley.

Debbie grew up in the sweet landscape of Calvert County, MD. She was a product of the Calvert County Public School system and a proud graduate of Calvert Senior High School's Class of 1970. Her love for the green grasses of Calvert County led her south to the greener pastures of Hampton Institute from which she graduated with a bachelor's degree in English and Early Childhood Education in 1974. Her quest for higher education continued when she was awarded a master's degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. She received additional certifications in Gifted Education from the University of Virginia and the University of Oxford.

Debbie was a natural-born leader from the day she was born. That gift served her well during her 30-year career as an elementary school teacher in the Fairfax County, VA Public Schools who spearheaded the county's Odyssey of the Mind Program for Gifted Students. It also served her well when she joined the faculty of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) as an instructor of differentiated instruction and common core state standards, speaking at conferences nationwide and abroad including speaking engagements in Turkey and England. It also created opportunities for her to serve as a gifted resource teacher and also mentor new teachers in Charles County, MD Public Schools. She joined the Epsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma sorority, which afforded special opportunities for her to bond with her retired-educator mother.

Debbie's gifts as a leader soared when she joined several prominent African-American organizations. Not only was she a member of the Prince George's County, MD chapters
of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, and The Links, Incorporated, she served those chapters as president. The women in the Southern Maryland chapter of Jack and Jill credit her as being instrumental in the formation of
their chapter. Debbie's civic bent fueled her leadership and service in other organizations as well. Most notable of these was the Calvert County Congress of Black Women where she was its vice chair and for seven years served as mistress of ceremonies at the annual Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. Breakfast it hosted with the Calvert County, Maryland Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. She was especially proud of being a volunteer at numerous events at the Obama White House.

Debbie's work with her daughter Natlie on one Jack and Jill project fueled her interest in genealogy and preserving Black history. At Debbie's house is a plaque honoring the Jones' 2010 family reunion - an event that she chaired and was hailed as the largest family reunion ever held in Calvert County, MD, because more than 1,000 relatives attended. Because of Debbie and her mother's gentle prodding of her father to unlock an old trunk he had inherited. From Debbie's great, great, great grandmother Rachel Chase, newspaper artifacts from that trunk are now proudly displayed with her parents' names at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History & Culture in Baltimore, MD. Maryland historians now recognize her family's old tobacco barn which was highlighted in a 2004 Washington Times newspaper article entitled "Saving tobacco barns before the door closes". Debbie had hoped to donate to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History And Culture some civil war artifacts she discovered among the papers in Rachel Chase's old trunk. She also hoped to have created a Museum of African American History And Culture in Calvert County. This is the legacy she left behind for family and friends to finish on her behalf.

Debbie was a gentle, compassionate soul who gave love and friendship to everyone she knew. Now she shares her love with her father Joseph Wesley Jones, son Jordan Edward Riley, and others who went Home before her.

Left to cherish her memories are her husband Larry Riley; daughter Natlie Lorraine Riley (Megan Zimmerman); son Aaron Zachary Riley; grandsons Aiden J.A. Riley (mother
Amani Williams) and Eben Zimmerman; mother Vivian W. Jones; brother Cameron W. Jones (Phyllis); brother-in-law Edward Riley; sister-in-law Teresa Riley; aunt Rev. Ruth \\Theeler Brooks; uncle Phillip H. Jones, Sr.; nephew Brandon J.W. Jones; and a host of other relatives
and friends.

Debbie was very much loved and very much cherished. We are grateful to God for the gift of her life.

To send flowers in memory of DEBORAH A. RILEY, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

17

Mar

6:00 PM 3/17/2017 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 3/17/2017 8:00:00 PM
Sewell Funeral Home

1451 Dares Beach Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Sewell Funeral Home
1451 Dares Beach Road Prince Frederick 20678 MD
United States

Visitation

Saturday

18

Mar

10:00 AM 3/18/2017 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 3/18/2017 11:00:00 AM
Mt. Olive UM Church

10 Fairground Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Mt. Olive UM Church
10 Fairground Road Prince Frederick 20678 MD
United States

Service

Saturday

18

Mar

11:00 AM 3/18/2017 11:00:00 AM
Mt. Olive UM Church

10 Fairground Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Mt. Olive UM Church
10 Fairground Road Prince Frederick 20678 MD
United States

Cemetery Details

Saturday

18

Mar

1:30 PM 3/18/2017 1:30:00 PM
Patuxent UM Church

3500 Solomons Island Road North
Huntingtown, MD 20639

Patuxent UM Church
3500 Solomons Island Road North Huntingtown 20639 MD
United States
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