OBITUARY

Elza Ralph Riggs

November 12, 1912April 1, 2014

ELZA RALPH RIGGS - A LIFE WELL LIVED Elza Ralph Riggs (Ralph) was born Nov 12, 1912 in West Finley Township, Pennsylvania. He was promoted to heaven on April 1, 2014. Ralph was the sixth of seven children born to Elza Riggs and Mary Elizabeth Dague Riggs. He is preceded in death by his parents, by his siblings: Hazel Strawn White, Harry Riggs, Pansy Clovis, Robert Riggs, Lloyd Riggs, and Col. William E. Riggs, by two precious daughter-in-laws: Donna Jo Harp Riggs and Judy Riggs, and his dear niece Linda Baber. Ralph grew up on a dairy farm where one of his earliest jobs was delivering milk to their customers in the Wheeling West Virginia area via a Diamond T-panel truck. Life on the farm forged his character that would leave an impression on all those that came to know him. He valued hard work, service to family, friendship, and integrity. Although he later left this area, and the dairy farm, the hills of West Virginia always remained close to his heart. After losing their farm in 1929, Ralph’s family relocated to Bedford, Pa. While helping his family rebuild their dairy, Ralph attended school and excelled in sports, especially football and baseball, while attending Bedford High School. In Beford, he met the love of his life, Mary Louise Morgart. When later asked “weren’t you sad your family lost the farm”, he said “I believe everything happens for a reason. If we hadn’t lost the farm, I’d have never met Mary Lou” Ralph and Mary Lou married on Nov 4, 1933, during the depth of the Great Depression. Three years later, In 1936, the now young family left the farm and moved to Pittsburg where Ralph worked in a carbon black plant, a distillery and, eventually, the steel industry. In 1945, before the end of WWII, Ralph heard there was more opportunity in Texas. After finding a job at Sheffield Steel, he and Mary Lou moved their growing family (now up to 4 children) to Galena Park, TX. Ralph worked at Sheffield Steel (Armco) until he retired in 1975. Ralph worked shift-work at the mill, but he always made his family his #1 priority. His years in Galena Park were filled with gardening, keeping the lawn & flowers, following kid’s sports, and a little fishing when time permitted. As much as Ralph loved his kids, it was with the arrival of his first grandchild in 1958 that “Grandpa Riggs” was born. Although Grandpa Riggs enjoyed his time in Galena Park, his heart always yearned for life in the country. He was a steelworker by trade, but he loved cows, tractors and anything that grows. In 1968, this dream became a reality when they bought a farm (and a tractor) in Willis, Texas. The farm in Willis became the center of many family and church gatherings as he became very involved in the community during the the next 46 years of his life. Grandpa Riggs was a very active member of the First United Methodist Church in Willis. He was, also, a Master Mason where he received the Golden Trowel Award. He loved poetry, music, sports, tractors, cows and work. He was a loyal friend. Grandpa Riggs never met a stranger. He loved talking to anyone, anywhere, any time. He and his grand children shared many adventures driving the back roads of East Texas and beyond. Ralph is survived by his wife of 80 years, Mary Louise Morgart, four sons, Jim Riggs (wife Carol) of Lufkin, TX, Ralph E. Riggs of Palestine, TX, John Riggs (wife Merline) of Riverside, Charlie Riggs (wife Stephanie) of The Woodlands, TX and two daughters Margie Riggs of Willis, TX and Mari Ann Lisenbe (husband Steve) of Willis, TX. 17 Grand children Colleen Thompson (husband Mike), David Riggs, Sally Molloy, Robert Lewis (wife Heather), Richey Riggs, Dianna Grey, Sheryse Lang, Matt Riggs, Trevor Lang (wife Leah), Roxy Mounter (husband Nick), Phil Riggs (wife Sharla), Mike Riggs (wife Val), Gina Russenburger (husband Craig), Robert Riggs (wife Lauren), Chris Riggs (wife Preeta), Jacob Lisenbe (wife Brandi), Michael Lisenbe. Twenty seven great grand children, and 1 great great grand child. Also, numerous nieces and nephews who were always very dear to his heart. SERVICES: April 7, 2014 12:00 noon View Grandpa Riggs Final Resting Place: Evergreen Cemetery, Evergreen, Texas, 16 miles east of New Waverly on Hwy 150. Turn right on Farm Road 945. Cemetery will be on the left. April 7, 2014 2:00 p.m. Celebration of Grandpa Riggs Life: First United Methodist Church, Willis, Texas, 200 N Thomason St, Willis, Texas. Grandpa Riggs always loved living plants. Memorials can be made in his name to the Willis First United Methodist Church Prayer Garden.

Services

  • Final Resting Place Celebration Monday, April 7, 2014
  • Celebration of Life for Grandpa Riggs Monday, April 7, 2014
REMEMBERING

Elza Ralph Riggs

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Pastor Jim and Temple Lloyd

April 9, 2014

Margie; Just talked to Judy today and she told me about your dad. We never met your dad but I do know your wonderful mom and I know they had a wonderful life together. Our love and prayers are with both of you and the rest of your family.

April 8, 2014

So sorry about your dad, our LOVR AND Prayers are with you and your family at this time of sadness. We love you.... Clint & judy croft

Joanne Miles

April 8, 2014

"I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. The times I remember visiting Mr. and Mrs. Riggs at the farm, he was so gracious. His warm smile and gentle spirit will be etched in my mind and heart."

April 8, 2014

So sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with the Riggs family. When I hear the name Riggs I think of a wonderful family from my home town.....Lori Reno Black (Spring/Cypress,Tx)

Margie Sulik Bane

April 7, 2014

My thoughts are with Ralph, John, Merline and all of the Riggs family at this very sad time. You were blessed to have so many wonderful years with him.

April 7, 2014

So sorry for your lost. My prayers and thoughts go out to your entire family. Gary Campbell

Judy (Mason) Phillips

April 7, 2014

Condolences to the entire Riggs Family. Keeping you in my prayers.

April 7, 2014

My thoughts and prayers are with the Riggs' family. I remember the stories my dad (Fred Young) told me about the early years at Sheffield and how the men came to GP, brought a house and then the family would join them. They all became good friends. Love to all, Marilyn Young Weatherly, LaPorte, Texas

Danny & Pat Gardner

April 6, 2014

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

J.D. &Family Riggs

April 6, 2014

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.