Captain William Lee Riggs, 68, took his last flight on April 17, 2010. He passed away peacefully at his home in Mineral, VA which was his last request. He was preceded in death by his mother Dorothy Bruce of Indiana; his father: Ollie Riggs of Kentucky; his brother: Don Riggs of Texas; his son: Billy Riggs of Indianapolis, IN; and his beloved pet Mike.
He leaves behind his soul mate and bride of 9 ½ months: Sandy Robichaud Riggsthough their courtship lasted 26 years. In addition he leaves behind his sisters: Rose Ricci of Las Vegas, Nevada; Carol Riggs of Indianapolis; his sister in law: Lou Riggs of Denton Texas; his cousin; Anita Telesco of Stamford Connecticut, and many nieces and nephews.
Aviation was Bill’s whole life. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 7th, 1941 and he learned to fly in 1959, when he was just 18 years old. His brother Don was already a pilot himself, encouraged Bill to leave his job driving a cement mixer and pursue aviation. Bill’s career took flight on June 1st, 1967, when he flew his first commercial flight for Lake Central Airlines Now U.S. Airways. His young career encountered some minor turbulence after just 6 months Bill was furloughed. He took a job with SMB Sedalia Marshall Stage Line delivering mail to Nebraska until Lake Central asked him to return in 1968. Bill flew clear skies with U.S. Airways for 30 years, during which time he got to fly numerous planes, including the Convair 580, which was the biggest, most powerful airplane in the world during its time, the DC-9-30, where Bill met his bride, Sandy, and the 767, which according to Bill, was his dream plane. Bill officially retired on June 1, 1997, exactly 30 years after he got his start in 1967.
After retirement, Bill perused corporate and general aviation at Louisa County Airport, close to his retirement home at Lake Anna. He also loved shooting, fishing, playing tennis, boating, and motorcycling, but none as much as he loved flying. Through the years he had several small airplanes that he loved to fly with his buddies at the Louisa Airport, the most fun was flying out with several other airplanes to favorite and unknown lunch spots for the proverbial $100 burgers. They would fly for food” and their destinations would be Maryland North Carolina Pennsylvania and West Virginia. While flying from Louisa Bill was very instrumental in building a grass landing strip alongside the main runway and he was also a CFII and continued to help local pilots with Flight Training Biennial Flight Reviews and Check Rides.
Bill was a “Real Aviator” and his big smile and heart will be missed by all!
A celebration of Bill’s Life will be held May 8th 2010 from 2:00 until 4:00 P.M. at Louisa County Airport Freeman Field.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Captain Bill Rigg’s name to Hospice of the piedmont 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway Suite 300 Charlottesville Virginia 22911.
Blue skies Bill.