Machelle Dawn Riley

Machelle Riley

    Machelle Dawn Riley, an educator and life-long resident of Galveston County, Texas, died unexpectedly on December 27, 2015 at the age of 42 while visiting her family in Pflugerville, TX.  

    Machelle was born in Salem, AR on October 3, 1973 to William and Bonnie Spurrell. She valued her education and overcame difficulties when she moved out on her own at 17 while still managing to graduate from La Marque High School in 1992. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-Law and Humanities from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 1996 and had started her Master’s Degree at Lamar University.  She worked in education for almost 20 years. During that time, she worked in English, Math, Special Education, ESL, Curriculum and Instruction, and Testing and Intervention with Galveston ISD, La Marque ISD, Hitchcock ISD and Pasadena ISD.  In 2014 she landed her dream job as an English 1 teacher at Dr. Kirk Lewis Career and Technical High School with Pasadena ISD. On November 26, 2002 she welcomed her handsome son Reynaldo Herrera III into the world and on August 29, 2012 she married her best friend, John Riley Jr., and gained another son, John Riley III.  They were the most important part of her life.

    Machelle was a devoted mother, wife, teacher and friend. She enjoyed hunting, fishing, cook-offs and floating the river. As the cook-off season started up she would get excited as she and John are members of the Diamond Hydraulics High Pressure Cooker’s Cook-Off team out of Hitchcock, TX. Her specialties were Bloody Marys, desserts and helping John.  She would light up at the mention of going to spend even just a day in Sargent, her “happy place”.  When the weather warmed she was the happiest, she could be found in Sargent or at a cook-off, but she really enjoyed the 4th of July cook-off at the Blue Gecko where she was able to combine them both.   

    Machelle loved spending time with her Mema and Uncle Mark and went for a visit whenever she could.  She loved her students, guiding and educating each of them to succeed and reach the potential she saw in each of them. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, colleagues, students and all who knew her.

    She is preceded in death by parents, William and Bonnie Spurrell; paternal grandfather, Col. William Spurrell and maternal grandparents, Hubert and Margaret Cypret.

    Machelle is survived by husband and best friend, John Riley Jr. (of Dickson); sons, Reynaldo Herrera III and John Riley III; grandmother, Mary Spurrell; and sisters, Mary Steely, Elizabeth Krawietz (husband Jason), Kristin Schwartz (husband Dan), Stacy McGrew (husband Donald) and Cristie Howard (husband Wesley); beloved Mia Pup and a large extended family and close friends. 

            Guests are invited to share in the Celebration of Life Services for Machelle at 12:00 Noon, Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 at the Blue Gecko, 25298 FM 457 Bay City, (Sargent) TX 77414.