Evelyn Frances RIGGS


Evelyn "Frances" Riggs, a loving wife, sister, mother, and grandmother, passed from this life on Sunday, March 30, at the age of 92. Born August 5, 1921, in Goldsboro, NC, Frances lost her mother when she was only five. After graduating from Goldsboro High School, she attended junior college in Brevard, NC, and graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a BA in English and history. During college, she and her sister, Anne, showcased their musical and dancing talents when they spent a summer waiting tables and performing at Ted Hilton's Resort in Moodus, CT, where Ted Hilton called her "Mary Lou" because of her southern accent and charm. While at Eastern Kentucky University, Frances met and married Orval (Tom) Sawyer of Newport, KY. In 1946 Tom died tragically in the Philippines while serving in the U.S. Army, leaving behind Frances and their infant daughter, Sandy. Frances later met Charles Riggs when he spotted her at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Thomas and timed his departure after the service to meet her on the way out. They married in 1948 and settled in Fort Thomas where their growing family included two more daughters and two sons. During the 1950's and 1960's Frances taught at Campbell County, Newport, Holmes and Highlands high schools in northern Kentucky. In addition, she loved playing the piano, tennis, and doing needlepoint. She was a faithful member of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Thomas and demonstrated her love for Christ by her kindness to and interest in everyone she met. Even after 70 years in northern Kentucky, she never lost her North Carolina accent and southern charm. Frances is survived by her loving husband of 66 years, Charles Riggs; four sisters: Anne Salter of Marshallberg, NC, Melrose (Roy) Lomax of Elizabethtown, NC, Margaret (Herman) Jennette of Swansboro, NC, and Lucille (Jim) Meachem of Goldsboro, NC; her sister-in-law Eloise Walling of Fort Thomas; and five children: Sandra (Marc) Kuhnhein of Cold Spring, KY; Marita (John) Reed of Sun Lakes, AZ; Allan (Martha) Riggs of Mt. Pleasant, MI; Keith (Becky) Riggs of Cincinnati and Debbie (Steve) Wahlbrink of Fort Thomas. She was preceded in death by her sister, Susie Railey. She is also survived by ten grandchildren: Kim Greene, Julie Bassett, Blake Reed, Tammy Robinson, Ellen Dunlap, Emily Wright, Austin Riggs, Liz Riggs, Reid Wahlbrink, and Chad Wahlbrink; and 13 great-grandchildren. While we mourn her passing, we also celebrate her life and legacy of love, tenderness and thoughtfulness. She enriched the lives of all whom she met. Visitation will be 4:00-7:00 PM, April 4 at Dobbling Funeral Home, 106 S Ft Thomas Ave, Fort Thomas, KY. Services will be held at 10:00 AM on April 5 at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Thomas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 220 S Fort Thomas Ave, Fort Thomas, KY 41075. Online condolences may be sent to www.dmefuneral.com

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Dobbling Funeral Home
106 S Fort Thomas Ave Fort Thomas, KY 41075
(859) 441-1730

Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer from Apr. 2 to Apr. 3, 2014