Claude Verne Riley passed from this life on October 17, 2020. He was born the youngest of seven children on March 25, 1920, in a log house in the mountains of northern New Mexico to Albert J. and Blanche Bedford Riley. In 1932 the family moved to Bula in Bailey County and relocated two years later to Muleshoe.
C. V. attended Muleshoe High School and played on the 1938 undefeated Mules football team. He moved to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in early 1942 to work with the Civil Corps of Engineers rebuilding the area after the bombing the previous December. Some of the giant cranes he worked on in the dry dock area still stand today. Two years later, he joined the United States Navy and served until 1946.
In 1947 he met his "sweetheart," Evelyn Nickels. They were married in Amarillo, Texas, on January 9, 1948. They were married for 71 years until Evelyn's death in 2019. Together, they raised two sons, Joel Patrick and Michael Brent.
Claude operated Irrigation Supply in Muleshoe several years before he bought and maintained his own successful drilling business. After he sold his business, Claude managed cotton gins in Muleshoe and Clay's Corner and managed the Pro Shop at the Muleshoe Country Club. He also owned and operated a trucking enterprise, primarily hauling agricultural crops on a seasonal basis.
C. V. and his wife were avid golfers and enjoyed following various sports. He was a devoted fan of the different teams his grandsons coached. Claude was a most prolific story-teller, and his many family members, friends, and even strangers were entertained by his reminiscences.
Claude was a longtime member of the Assembly of God Church in Muleshoe and served as an adult Sunday School Class teacher for many years. He was also a Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Texas for over 50 years.
He is survived by his sons, Joe Pat of Irving and Mike and wife, Marilyn of Lubbock; four grandchildren, Burnley Jaklevic and husband Mike of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, Allie Riley and husband Eddie Frigola of Los Angeles, California, Lincoln Riley and wife Caitlin, of Norman, Oklahoma, and Garrett Riley and wife Lindsay Claire of Dallas, Texas; seven great grandchildren, Chloe, Liam and Declan Jaklevic, Sloan and Stella Riley, and Gibson and Greyson Riley; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to Dr. Bruce Purdy, the staff at Park View Nursing Home and to Amelia Gonzales for their compassionate care given to Claude Riley.
In lieu of flowers, please extend sympathies by donating to Park View Nursing Care Center, 1100 West Avenue J or the Oneita Wagnon Senior Citizens Center, 319 South Main, both in Muleshoe, Texas, 79347