Bernice Riles


Bernice Riles

Four States Living Tribute To Women



Joyfully retired, Bernice Riles is married to her husband, Samuel. She has two sons, Rodney Lavelle Adkins and Vincent DeWayne Taylor, and one daughter, Barbara Jean Adkins-Sears. Her favorite Bible verse that she strives to live by every day is Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

Bernice during her 65th surprise birthday party held on October 2, 2010.

Bernice during her 65th surprise birthday party held on October 2, 2010.

Bernice Riles is a retired Registered Nurse who enjoys helping those in need. She likes to spend time volunteering at her church, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, and she is involved with the Greater Texarkana Branch of the NA ACP.

One who enjoys being true to herself, as well as her family, friends, and her Heavenly Father, Bernice considers herself to be a “woman of faith, loving, caring, honest, a people person, leader, and highly-organized.” In her spare time, Bernice can be found doing arts and crafts projects, such as building birdhouses, reading, gardening, fishing, walking in the rain, and sewing/crocheting.

Over the course of her life, Bernice has been influenced by her family. Her mother (who is now deceased), and her children have been the greatest role models to her, and have helped mold her into the person she is today.

If she had to give a motivational speech to a group of young women, she would say to them, “Always be true to yourself, live for today with His guidance, because tomorrow isn’t promised to you.”


The Way Brenda Reid sees her

What can I say about Bernice Riles, affectionately known as Momma, Bea, Bernice or Aunt Bea to my children. I will start at the beginning. The first time I saw her was at Wadley on 4 North in her starch ironed white nurse’s uniform with the matching hat and a big beautiful smile. She tried to give me a hard time since I was the new physical therapist (hopefully she was only teasing about getting a patient up). And we’ve been friends since – 35 years. As a new graduate, I admired her professionalism and genuine caring spirit as a nurse and emulated the same at being a PT.

Bernice has a strange sense of humor in a good way. She is always together and not a hair out of place, and her home is the same way which is something she’s still trying to teach me. She doesn’t meet a stranger and is a giver.

Bernice had complications with a hip surgery and no longer drives but still is active in Sunday School and in church. She has been a true friend. There have been things we have disagreed on but she has respected and supported my decisions.

We have an annual shopping date at the Mistletoe Fair. People often mistake her for my mom. She always says, “No, but I will claim her.” She is the loving mom of Rodney, Barbara, and Vincent, and the wife of Sam. It is my great pleasure and honor to call Bernice my friend and nominate her for this year’s Tribute to Women.


What is something unique about you that most people would not know?
“I grew up on a small family farm and harvested vegetables and fruits.”

If you could have dinner with one person, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

“My mother (who is deceased).”

If you could travel to space, and it was free, would you go?

What music do you listen to in your vehicle?
“I listen to R&B, jazz and gospel.”

What did you imagine yourself being when you were growing up? “A writer.”

What is the last gift you gave someone?

What is your favorite meal that you order regularly at a local establishment?
“I like to eat seafood and salmon croquettes when I eat out.”

If there was a movie produced about your life, which actress would portray you?
“Cicely Tyson.”