Harold Ray Rigby
January 25, 1937 – May 1, 2021
Harold Ray Rigby was born on January 25th, 1937, the seventh child of Wilmer Raymond Rigby and Lida Elnora Wadsworth Rigby in Hooper, Utah.
Soon after Harold's birth, the family moved from Sublett, Idaho, to Grace, Idaho, where he grew up learning the family farming business alongside his dad and siblings. One of his proudest moments was winning a tractor skill contest his father had coached him on.
Harold shared many fond memories of his mother and sisters performing music and theatrics in their home just outside of Grace. He always said his mother was a "lark" and loved to make even the toughest times fun with family picnics, music, and laughter. Harold loved playing guitar and singing in local bands. He even performed with his band on TV for the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.
Harold graduated from high school and ROTC in 1955 and attended Utah State Agricultural College, now Utah State University, then Brigham Young University before marrying and being sealed to Geniel Rindlisbaker in the Logan Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on November 6th, 1959.
Upon his father's death, Harold continued working the family farm with his brother Max. He and Geniel lived on the family farm where their first daughter Rhonda was born. Feeling the squeeze of their tiny home, they moved to their home in Burton's Canyon in the mountains just east of Grace, where their second daughter Colette and their first son Travis were born. Soon after Travis' birth, they moved to the family farmhouse in Thatcher, Idaho, where their third daughter Darcy was born.
Using proceeds from the sale of the Ray Rigby family Thatcher home, they purchased a farm near Niter, just south of Grace, and named it Mountain View Farms. While times were never easy farming in Southeastern Idaho, Harold picked up on his mother's love of life. He relished his time with his family and loved to show off his boat, airplane, and beloved quarter horses, which he raced in cutter races and horse races across the West. In 1978, the family moved to Logan, Utah, where Harold's second son Michael was born. Harold's mother died shortly after that, and at the same time, it became increasingly difficult to earn a living as a farmer. Instead of giving up, Harold took a brave step to support his family and became an agricultural advisor for the Libyan government. Harold, a farmer from Idaho, faced one of the most difficult times of his life, leaving his family behind. He was challenged by some of the harshest terrain in the world amidst some of the most frightening political circumstances. He often felt his life was at risk and told many harrowing stories from his experiences in the deserts of Libya.
That risk later paid off for the family, leading to a job as an International Project Manager for Jetway Systems. Harold traveled throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, often with Geniel and their son Mike installing passenger bridges at airports.
Although these experiences dramatically changed his life, he never left behind the lessons his mother taught him about compassion and fun in the most challenging of times. He delighted in bringing a smile to anyone's face. While working on the airport project in Mandalay, he recognized the harshness of the back-breaking work of the women building the airport road by hand. Every morning he would purchase a bag of candy to bring them on the way to work. They would run to his car, grinning full of joy and gratefulness when they saw him. Harold's generosity and ability to show compassion to those less fortunate was core to his nature.
Harold's zeal for adventure even extended to sneaking Mike and Geniel into Kuwait on a DHL air cargo plane from where they lived in Bahrain immediately after the first Gulf War. When Harold saw the spectacle of Iraqi's oil wells set ablaze in what the world called Iraq's "Damnation Alley" he had to share it. Photos of Geniel taken like a tourist in front of burning oil wells and Mike with bullets wrapped around his shoulders became the stuff of family lore. During their time overseas, they also maintained a home in Ogden and Mountain Green, Utah. After retiring from Jetway, Harold and Geniel moved to Texas, where they worked for their son-in-law's business Quick Strike Resources and later for their son’s business PosterGarden. Later in life, Harold and Geniel enjoyed traveling and visiting family and friends. They always took back roads, when possible, to find historical sites and out-of-the-way towns. They were involved in their church and community and loved being a part of their grandchildren's lives.
Harold loved making people happy and loved to see them excel in what makes them happy. He had his mother's smile and sparkle of mischief that he loved to carry with him. The stories are as many as the people he knew.
Harold passed away at home from complications of cancer on May 1, 2021.
He is survived by his wife Geniel, their five children: Rhonda (Rex) Griffin, Colette (Jeff) Proffit, Travis (Glenn Splieth) Rigby, Darcy (Richard) Slansky, and Michael (Crystal Dewi Kriswandi) Rigby. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. His only surviving sibling: Maurine (Richard) Myer, brother-in-law Terry (MarJean) Rindlisbaker, sister-in-laws Candy and Ginger Rindlisbaker and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and numerous dear friends, as well as his beloved cat Sheba.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Max (Faye) Rigby, Donna (William) Cottle (Richard) Penrod, Norma (Gene) Arave, June (Jay) Turner, Blaine Rigby and brother-in-laws, Russell and Leon Rindlisbaker.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 8, 2021, at 2:30 pm at the LDS Chapel, Spring, Texas. The family will be available to meet with friends on Saturday from 2 pm prior to the service.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Discovery Creek Building) 3591 Discovery Creek Boulevard Spring, TX 77386
He was loved and will be missed by all who knew him. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Harold’s name to support the animals he loved so much:
Montgomery County Animal Services - Where he adopted his beloved cat “Sheba.” Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance - Supporting the retired racehorses he loved.
Link to view the Memorial Services on May 8, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. CST http://mywebcast.churchofjesuschrist.org/Events/springtexasstake
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Harold Ray Rigby
May 5, 2021
What a great family! So sorry for your great loss. May you all have peace at this difficult time. What I remember is he was a very nice happy man.
May 5, 2021
It has been so awesome having him in my life the past couple years especially me and Tyson being so close I’ve loved him and I being able to sleep over at their house and seeing his Coca-Cola collection and him also being so involved in the scouting program it’s been awesome having him be a role model in my life!
May 5, 2021
It was so much fun growing up in Grace,Idaho and knowing the Rigby family my parents did many things over years with them. I remember riding in the back of a horse trailer with his daughter Rhonda and what fun we had!
Rest In Peace and I bet after all the years Harold and my dad are having a fun reunion.