Floral 14

Vernetta Davis Riley

January 11, 1929 ~ June 6, 2022 (age 93)


Vernetta Davis Riley, daughter of the late Willie G. and Bessie Lyghts Davis was born January 11,1929, in Irmo, South Carolina. Affectionately known as "Auntie" to some, and "Tootsie,” to others, joined St. Peter Baptist Church of Irmo at an early age.  During her tenure at St. Peter, she served as a Trustee, Church Clerk and Church Mother. Vernetta was a friend to the friendless, helper to the helpless, and overall, a devout Christian and Matriarch.  She peacefully departed this life to be with the Lord on Monday, June 6, 2022.

Mother Riley was educated at Booker T. Washington High School.  Following her graduation, she obtained a bachelor’s degree from Allen University, a master’s degree from South Carolina State University, and later received a Specialist Degree in Guidance/Counseling. Mother Riley used her obtained credentials and taught school in Georgia, where she touched the lives of many before returning to South Carolina.

Mother Riley did not allow the transition to deter her from her objective. Motivation and dedication brought her to Richlex, where she taught until the integration of Irmo High School in 1968. Upon the graduation of her cherished nephew, Bennie “Dennis” Davis, Jr., Mother Riley retired from Lexington/Richland School District Five in 1994.

Mother Riley wore many hats, she was a life member of National Education Association (NEA), Richland County Retired Teachers Association, Secretary of Palmetto Citizens Board of Directors, Vice President of Willing Workers Community Center, served as a Notary Public, a member of Church Women United, St. Peter Baptist Church Mothers Board, Columbia (SC) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., a Delta Dear and a Golden Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.  She was also a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Booker T. Washington Foundation, and The Round Table of Lexington/Richland District 5 School Board. 

Throughout her illness, Mother Riley remained hopeful, encouraged, and sought prayer for healing. She lived by the prayer, "The Light of God Surrounds me. The Love of God Protects me. The Presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is."

Those who will forever cherish precious memories of Vernetta are her two brothers, Bennie (Alfreda) Davis of Irmo, SC; and Melvin (Sandra) Davis of Columbia, SC; a host of loving and caring nephews, nieces, other loving relatives, and dear friends, all of whom rejoice that at the time of her sunset, Mother Riley was surrounded by love, laughter, and light.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


Funeral Service
June 10, 2022

9:00 AM
Bostick-Tompkins Funeral Home
2930 Colonial Drive
Columbia, SC 29203

Video is available for this event

Interment following funeral service

St. Peter Baptist Church Cemetery
7910 Broad River Road
Irmo, SC 29063

No Public Viewing

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