Louanna A. Riley

Riley, Louanna A.

Louanna Riley was born in 1852 in Summer County, Tennessee. She moved to Champaign, Illinois, at an early age and lived at 106 E. Springfield Avenue. She had two children, a daughter, Ethel, and a son, George, who attended the University of Illinois and played in the U of I band.

She was a member of the Deborah Chapter Order of Eastern Star and a stewardess in Bethel A.M.E. Church. She was also active in the young missionary society, meeting every Saturday morning at her home. Meetings were strictly coordinated according to Roberts Rules of Order.

Twice a year, she gathered shoe boxes from the local shoe stores. The children filled them with fruit and candy donated by the congregation and they were delivered to shut-ins in the community and to the nursing homes. The missionary society of Bethel Church is named for her.

When it became difficult for her to continue to live alone, she moved to Chicago to be with her daughter. Local relatives included Ray Scott, a great nephew, and his family.