James “Riley” Harklerode, Jr., 70, of Marion, passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus, with his family by his side, on Friday, June 23, 2023, at Grace Hospital in Morganton.
Riley was born in McDowell County, NC on June 12, 1953, to the late James Riley “Bud” Harklerode, Sr. and Florence “Tootsie” Toney Harklerode. He was married to his wife of 48 years, his one and only true love, Elizabeth “Ann” Radford Harklerode. Riley retired from McDowell Technical College after more than 25 years in maintenance and groundskeeping. He was a dedicated member of Fairview Free Will Baptist Church, where he served as a Deacon for more than 38 years and was a Youth Leader for 30 years. The youth were his passion. He believed the youth were the future of the Church. Riley never met a stranger and always loved to laugh. He brightened up any room with laughter and was known for his story telling, singing, and whimsical imagination. He enjoyed baseball, but most of all, Riley loved his family and Church family. He will be greatly missed. Riley always said, “Give your flowers to the living.”
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Ann Harklerode; two sons, James “Jamie” Riley Harklerode, III (Stephanie) and Matthew David Harklerode (Caitlin); a sister, Joy Harklerode; three grandchildren, James Riley Harklerode, IV, Logan Harklerode, and Baleigh Purcell; a great grandson, Isaiah Purcell; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 27, 2023 at the Chapel of Beam Funeral Service.
A funeral will be conducted at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 28, 2023 at Fairview Free Will Baptist Church in Marion. Rev. Dennis Hensley will officiate and Rev. Wayne Miller will assist. Burial will follow at the Church cemetery.
Flowers are welcomed and appreciated but, memorial contributions may be made to Fairview FWB Youth Fund, if so desired.