Nicole Danae Riggan, 27, was welcomed into the arms of her Lord Jesus Christ on December 22nd along with her husband Anthony. Nicole's journey on this earth was short but full of adventure, joy, and purpose. The joy she brought to her family and to all those she touched cannot be measured and is now reflected in all who knew her. Nicole was born to John and Suzanne Paterson at Reese AFB in Lubbock, TX on July 7, 1983. Born into an Air Force family, Nicole lived in many locations around the United States and in England, finally settling down in Monument, CO. She attended Lewis-Palmer High School and graduated valedictorian in 2002. It was during her high school years she developed a love for theatre. Nicole excelled in all areas of theatre including playwriting, directing and acting. She was also Drama Club President at Lewis-Palmer and enjoyed singing in the school choir. Nicole's love for serving others was shown through her participation in Serteen, a volunteering program for teens, and on mission trips to Peru and Guatemala. Nicole went on to study theatre education and acting at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, graduating magna cum laude. She acted in The Thorn at New Life Church and in A Christmas Carol at Woodmen Valley Chapel along with acting in several murder mysteries. After graduation, Nicole met M. Anthony Riggan while attending Baptist Student Union Bible study at the Air Force Academy. Nicole and Anthony became engaged while he attended pilot training at Columbus AFB, MS. They married on March 28, 2009 and started their Air Force life at Dyess AFB, where her husband trained to be a B-1 bomber pilot. They were currently assigned to Ellsworth AFB, SD. After moving to Rapid City, Nicole immediately became involved in the local community theater directing the play Little Red and the Riding Hoods. She recently acted in A Christmas Carol for the second time and was rehearsing for the spring play. Nicole also loved to host game nights and events in which she would cook for their family and friends while her contagious laugher filled their home. Nicole shared Anthony's passion for the outdoors and together, with their puppy Sophie, they enjoyed camping and hunting. Anthony considered her to be his favorite co-pilot when they went flying together. In turn, Anthony supported Nicole's love for theatre and learned to dance, one of Nicole's favorite activities. Nicole had many creative talents which showed through every project or activity, such as scrapbooking, photography, arranging social activities or planning dates with Anthony. Nicole was a devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, as was her husband Anthony. Not ones to let opportunities pass them by, Nicole and Anthony quickly got involved at church when they moved to a new area, joining Bible studies and helping with youth groups. Nicole's devotionals, sent to hundreds of friends and family members around the world, have been a source of inspiration and guidance. During their short marriage, Nicole and Anthony have touched the lives of all those who have known them, and they will be greatly missed! Nicole said her wedding day was the greatest day of her life, but we know she would now say, the greatest day was December 22, 2010 when she entered Heaven with Anthony, the love of her life. Nicole is survived by her parents, John and Suzanne Paterson; her sister, Danielle, and brother, Gabriel. She is also survived by her extended family and friends whom she loved dearly. A celebration of Nicole and Anthony's lives was held in Little Rock, AR on December 29, 2010. A celebration will also be held at 1:00 PM on Monday, January 3, 2011 at Woodmen valley Chapel Worship Center, 290 E. Woodmen Road. Interment will be at the Air Force Academy. In lieu of flowers, please consider the following memorials: Anthony and Nicole Riggan Memorial Mission Scholarship, c/o BSU Alumni Association, P.O. Box 1832, Monument, CO 80132; Nicole Riggan Memorial Theatre Scholarship, c/o Wells Fargo Bank, Monument, CO 80132.
Published in The Gazette on Dec. 30, 2010.