CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — Jason McKinley Riggins Jr., of Chapmanville, departed this life Tues., Oct. 29, 2013, at 90 years of age at the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House in Huntington.
Born July 8, 1923, at Nemours, W.Va., he was a son of the late Jason McKinley Riggins, Sr. and Lula Warden Riggins. Also preceding him in death was a sister, Margarette Riggins Leach, former member of the W.Va. House of Delegates, and her husband, Thomas Leach.
Jason is a Marine Corps veteran of World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart for injures received on Okinawa, Japan. He went on to graduate from Marshall College where he was also a walk-on starter for the Thundering Herd football team. It was here he met his future bride, Dorothy Mae Farley, whom he married March 5, 1948, at the First Baptist Church in Logan.
Jason was a teacher at Omar Junior High and later moved on to Chapmanville High School. He also coached football and basketball at these schools. He went from there to be a District Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, and remained active in this organization until both of his sons attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He began his career in hospital administration in South Williamson, Ky., at the Miners Memorial Hospital. After earning a degree in Hospital Administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, he continued with this organization until it became the Appalachian Regional Hospital System. Over the years, he held varied positions with ARH in: South Williamson, Man, and Hazard, Ky. It was during his first time as Administrator at Man ARH that the Buffalo Creek flood occurred, and he became a key figure in organizing and directing disaster relief efforts.
Mr. Riggins is a member of the First Baptist Church in Logan, and served as a Deacon as well as on numerous committees. He was also involved in Rotary International. One of his proudest moments was when he was appointed a Kentucky Colonel while residing in Kentucky. Of the many civic activities with which he was involved, officiating at youth sports events as a referee was one of his favorites.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Dorothy Mae; two sons, Michael Dale (Virginia) of Gahanna, Ohio, and Terence Alan (Shawn) of Man; four grandchildren of whom he was extremely proud, Frances Allison Janakievski (Bozidar or "Bo" to the family) of New Albany, Ohio, Joseph Tyler of New Martinsville, Zachary Evan (Rachael) of Cyclone, and Jacob Payne of Man; a brother-in-law, Patrick Miller Farley of Huntington; a nephew, Timothy Leach (Vicki) of Huntington; a niece, Peggy Joffee (David) of St Petersburg, Fla.; a great-niece, Julia Joffee also of Florida; special friends, who were caregivers during his illness, Lesa Farley and Tammy Bowling, as well as a large extended family and numerous friends.
A celebration of Jason's life will take place at noon Sat., Nov. 2, at First Baptist Church in Logan with Reverend Rex Thompson officiating. Interment with Military Rites will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Ridgelawn Memorial Park 5547 West Pea Ridge Rd, Huntington.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m.-noon.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House, 3100 Staunton Rd., Huntington, WV 25702.
For email condolences go to: www.honakerfuneralhome.org
Honaker Funeral Home of Logan is in charge of arrangements.