Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home
1931 Houser Street
Muscatine, IA 52761
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John Barr Rigler

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John Barr Rigler Obituary
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church in Muscatine, Iowa, with a reception immediately following at the church. There will not be a visitation. A private burial service for Jack will be held at Graceland Cemetery, New Hampton, Iowa, in the Rigler family lot where, at the same time, his brother Robert R. "Bob" Rigler will be buried. The Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences:

MUSCATINE, Iowa -- John Barr "Jack" Rigler, 91, of Muscatine, passed away on Sunday, December 23, 2012, at Lutheran Homes in Muscatine after a recent decline in his health.

Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to the Muscatine Art Center, First Presbyterian Church of Muscatine, or the Federation of Fly Fishers Foundation, Inc., in Livingston, Montana. Written condolences may be sent to the family in care of the funeral home at 1931 Houser St., Muscatine, Iowa 52761.

Jack was born on June 19, 1921, in Great Falls, Montana, the eldest son of John P. "Jack" and Ferne Barr Rigler. From Great Falls, the Rigler family moved to Torrington, Wyoming, and then to Manchester, Iowa, before settling in New Hampton, Iowa, in 1931, when Jack was 10. He grew up in New Hampton and graduated from New Hampton High School in 1939. He enrolled at The University of Iowa in the autumn of 1939, graduating in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree. Jack then attended the United States Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School at The University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, and was a midshipman cadet during 1943 and 1944. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Jack began a long and fulfilling career in banking.

Initially, Jack joined the investment research department of The Northern Trust Company of Chicago, Illinois, the highly regarded banking organization that he would respect and admire for the rest of his life. Later, he was promoted to the correspondent banking division of The Northern Trust. During his time as a correspondent banker, he traveled throughout the state of Iowa to help smaller community banks and companies gain access to the resources of the larger Chicago bank. He became well acquainted with Central State Bank of Muscatine and other area companies during this period.

Inspired to be the best banker he could be, Jack pursued further education over the years through studies in finance at Northwestern University in Chicago, at the Graduate School of Banking at The University of Wisconsin, and at Harvard University. He continued to be a lifelong learner, constantly seeking new information and techniques to apply to banking.

While living in Chicago, Jack renewed his acquaintance with June De Nio, a United Air Lines stewardess based in Chicago whom he had known slightly when both were students at The University of Iowa. Their courtship resulted in marriage at the home of June's parents in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on September 20, 1947. After their wedding, Jack and June made their home in Chicago and later moved to the suburbs of Oak Park and Glen Ellyn, Illinois. While living in the Chicago area, the Riglers had two children, Sally June and James Barr.

In 1960, after 15 exciting and treasured years with The Northern Trust Company of Chicago, 38-year-old Jack Rigler assumed the duties of president of Central State Bank of Muscatine. The family moved to Muscatine, and Jack immediately poured his energy into the bank and immersed himself in community and church activities.

His arrival at Central State Bank ushered in a period of rapid growth and innovation for the organization. In addition to managing the bank, Jack charged ahead with major building and remodeling programs, including the establishment in 1961 of a motor bank (a new concept in banking at the time and the first of its kind in Muscatine) and the renovation of the headquarters building in downtown Muscatine, which was completed in 1962. While expanding the financial assets of the bank, Jack also directed the expansion of the bank's physical assets throughout the community. In 1971, Central State Bank became the first to serve the East Hill area of town with a full-service banking facility, followed in 1977 by the first full-service banking facility in South Muscatine. With the introduction of its Instant Access card program in 1976 and the installation in 1977 of its 24-hour Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), Central State Bank pioneered electronic banking in Muscatine. The area's first in-store bank was established in Econofoods in 1990 to meet the needs of busy people at convenient hours. In the mid-1990s, Jack was part of the task force that planned and built the new Central State Bank headquarters building in downtown Muscatine, thereby ensuring that it would remain in the heart of the community.

In 1979, Jack helped establish the bank holding company now known as Central Bancshares, Inc. Based in Muscatine, it was formed to own Central State Bank and to enable growth by acquiring other banks. Jack served as its first president, and later as vice chairman, all the while continuing to lead Central State Bank. As intended, Central Bancshares, Inc., grew through the acquisition of three other banks: West Chester Savings Bank in Washington, Iowa; Freedom Security Bank in Coralville and Kalona, Iowa; and F&M Bank in Galesburg and Peoria, Illinois.

The year 1994 began Jack's transition from day-to-day bank management into his roles as consultant and advisor to the Central Bancshares group of banks. He continued to serve for many years on the boards of directors of Central Bancshares, Inc., and three of its affiliate banks: Central State Bank, Freedom Security Bank, and West Chester Savings Bank. At their annual meeting in February 2007, the stockholders of Central Bancshares, Inc., honored Jack by electing him director emeritus in recognition of his 46 years of service to the organization. During those years, Jack guided one bank with one location in Muscatine, which upon his arrival in 1960 had total assets of $14 million, and helped transform it into an organization with four banks and eleven locations that, by early 2007, had reached $625 million in total assets.

A highlight of Rigler's career came in the late 1980s. Our country was suffering from a financial crisis caused by reckless lending practices of savings and loan associations and some banks. But Central State Bank, under Jack's able management, continued to thrive and to earn recognition for its financial strength. In October of 1989, Central State Bank was named one of the "100 Safest Banks" in the nation by Money magazine. Jack considered this "one of the nicest compliments to our staff, directors, and shareholders."

Not only did Jack desire to help Central State Bank and Central Bancshares, Inc., grow, but he was also devoted to the growth and betterment of banking at state and national levels. He was a member of the State Banking Board of Iowa, the boards of directors of the Iowa Independent Bankers Association, the American Bankers Association, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Iowa. He actively participated in committees of the Iowa Bankers Association and chaired the Banking Laws Advisory Committee that helped rewrite Iowa's banking laws, resulting in the Iowa Banking Act of 1969. For many years he served on the Iowa Governor's Task Force on Guaranteed Student Loans, the Iowa College Aid Commission, and the board of directors of the Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation. He was named an honorary director of the Walnut Hill Bank at the Living History Farms in Des Moines, Iowa, and was an advisor to Kirchman Corporation, a developer and provider of software to the financial services industry. Jack earned the respect and trust of his banking colleagues throughout the state of Iowa and the nation and was often consulted by those within the industry.

Jack was honored to serve for many years on the board of directors of Security State Bank in New Hampton, Iowa, the bank his father founded in 1937 during the Great Depression and still owned and operated today by the Rigler family.

Much of Jack's enthusiasm for banking was fueled by what he called "the joy of helping people succeed." He was passionate about helping people achieve their goals, whether through educational opportunities, loans to finance businesses, or hearty handshakes and words of encouragement.

Jack championed Muscatine at every opportunity and was deeply committed to the community. If it was discovered that Muscatine needed particular services, businesses, or organizations that would enhance the quality of life of its citizens, then Jack rallied to help create, support, or recruit them to Muscatine. His devotion to the community was displayed in leadership positions with a variety of organizations. He was president of the Muscatine Development Corporation; president of the Muscatine Chamber of Commerce; president, board member, and trustee of the Muscatine Art Center; president of the Muscatine Rotary Club; and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. Jack served on the board of directors of Geneva Golf and Country Club and co-chaired the fundraising drive that raised millions of dollars to build the current facility. He was an effective fundraiser for community organizations such as the United Way and the Muscatine Art Center. In 1991, the Muscatine Development Corporation presented the Muscatine County Individual Leadership Award to Jack for his economic development and community efforts.

A man of strong faith, Jack was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Muscatine for more than 50 years, was an ordained Presbyterian deacon and elder, and served on pastoral recruitment and stewardship campaign committees.

Jack loved to explore beautiful places in nature. He was an energetic camper, canoeist, skier, hunter, and angler. His passion was fly fishing, and he fished the great waters of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, the Midwest, Alaska, Canada, New Zealand, and Belize, often accompanied by his wife, June, and other family members and friends. Jack was proud to earn the title of master angler and also to accomplish his goal of becoming a certified casting instructor of the Federation of Fly Fishers. His casting certification was supervised by renowned fly fisher Mel Krieger.

A devoted father to his two children, Jack provided experiences and opportunities for them to learn and thrive in life. He shared his interests with them: road trips, picnics, photography, fishing, camping, nature, singing, storytelling, and family history. He was a friend and mentor to their friends. Always in attendance at his son's athletic events, Jack was there not only to support Jim, but also to encourage the other young men on the team who could hear his strong voice from the sideline.

Jack was known for his faith, encouraging spirit, positive attitude, and zest for living. He will be remembered for his firm handshake and the thoughtfully composed letters and notes of encouragement, congratulation, and sympathy he wrote to many, many people. He cherished his friends. Challenges in life were faced with courage, faith, enthusiasm, determination, and grace. Jack liked to leave a campground in better condition than when he found it. While preparing to break camp, he neatly stacked a pile of firewood at the site for the benefit of future campers.

At the time of his death, Jack was survived by his daughter, Sally, of Edina, Minnesota; his son, James "Jim" and wife, Gail, and their family, Liana and Brett Ferry and the Ferry's sons Ethan and Zackery, all of Marin County, California; his brother Robert R. "Bob" Rigler and wife, Virginia, of New Hampton, Iowa; his brother-in-law, Quentin R. De Nio, of Minneapolis, Minnesota; many nieces and nephews; and a multitude of friends, banking and business associates, and fly-fishing companions. A few months later, the Rigler family mourned the loss of Jack's brother Bob, who passed away on February 27, 2013.

Jack was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, June De Nio Rigler, his parents, and his infant brother, William James "Billy Jim" Rigler.

Jack would be honored if you took a few minutes today to "write a little note" to someone to express your gratitude, appreciation, or encouragement.
Published in Des Moines Register from Apr. 6 to Apr. 7, 2013
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