James Riley Carter

Our fierce, brave, badass warrior James Riley Carter closed his eyes on the evening of Monday, September 16, 2019, and woke up in Jesus’ arms. His body fought so very hard, for so very long, against so, so many odds during his 443 day fight at Texas Children’s Hospital against multiple life-threatening conditions, but it could not win its short battle with the extreme complications caused by severe pancreatitis.


Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2019, from 5-8 pm at Central Baptist Church, 801 S. Margaret (Hwy 96), Kirbyville, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 4 pm on Friday, September 20, 2019, at Central Baptist Church in Kirbyville, Texas, with additional visitation from 2:30 pm until the time of service, with Bro. Jason Shirley officiating. Please wear a #RileyStrong or superhero shirt, if you’d like, in honor of our hero to the service Friday.


In lieu of flowers, please donate to James Riley Carter’s Medical Fund at any Community Bank of Texas.

Services are under the direction of Myers-Colonial Funeral Home in DeRidder, LA. A memorial service will also be held at Texas Children’s Hospital at a later date for the CVICU teams who cared for Riley so deeply.


James Riley Carter was born July 12, 2001 in Beaumont, Texas. He lived in Magnolia Springs, Texas most of his life. Riley attended school in both Newton and Merryville, but spent most of his academic career as a proud Kirbyville Wildcat, and was a member of the Class of 2020.


Riley participated in track, football, baseball, the fishing team, both marching and contest bands, multiple UIL Academic events at the district and regional levels, and was a member of the National Honor Society. Riley also represented KHS at State UIL Congress, and qualified for UIL State CX Debate. He also participated in State band competition. Riley also represented his community as one of two JNEC Government in Action Youth Tour participants in 2018, just before his illness. Riley not only represented KHS and Kirbyville in Washington, but his essay on service, duty, and patriotism allowed Riley to be one of four Texas students chosen to represent the state’s delegation at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was able to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Riley’s dream after graduation was to become a band director or music therapist.


Riley is survived by his parents, Scott and Alanna Cornes; his brother and sister, Jackson and Ella Cornes; his beloved Nena, Melissa Riley; aunt and uncle, Alicia and Hubert Davis and their sons Beau and Brennon; and his great-grandmother, Lavern Horn, all of Magnolia Springs, Texas; a very special great-aunt and uncle, Wanda and Mike Carrell of Harper, Texas; great-uncle and aunt, Larry and Harriet Horn of Magnolia Springs, TX; aunts and uncles, Sherrie and Herman Gonzalez of Orange, TX; and Terry and Robert Allen Morgan of Jasper, TX, along with numerous cousins and other family members and friends.

Riley was predeceased by his Poppa, John Riley of Magnolia Springs; his Dad, James S. “Jimmy” Carter III of Orange; his PooPaw, Elvin Horn of Magnolia Springs; his Pawpaw James S. and Nana Grace Carter of Georgia; MawMaw Paula Cornes and Papa Jack Cornes of Merryville, LA, as well as his aunts and uncles, Linda Grace Carter Hall, Danielle Cornes, Sam Hall, Todd Cornes, and Billy Cornes.


Riley was heroic, gritty, brave, determined, fierce, and never, ever gave up, no matter the odds. He was also funny, loving, kind, friendly, outgoing, and intelligent. He loved Marvel, “The Flash”, memes, “Star Wars”, hunting, fishing, music, movies, animals, baseball, the outdoors, video games, and spending time with family and friends. Above all, Riley loved his family and his home, especially “his” babies, Ella and Jackson, and his cousins/best friends, Beau and Brennon.


We are so grateful for the entire CVICU staff at Texas Children’s Hospital for their love, care, and support over the last fourteen months. Thank you to our families, friends, loved ones, and the entire #RileyStrong family for loving and supporting Riley and our family through this journey. We love and appreciate you all

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