Robert Keith Riggs, 90, died January 11, 2022, in his home at Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury, Winchester, Virginia. He was born in Wayne County, West Virginia, son of Alva and Lola Riggs of Huntington West Virginia. He is survived by Marrea, his wife of 48 years, a son, Michael Riggs of Huntington, West Virginia, a daughter and a son-in-law, Debbi Riggs and Michael Comer of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and a sister and brother-in-law, Janet and Bill Conley of Huntington, West Virginia. He has five grandchildren, Benjamin Riggs, Jonathan Riggs, Nicole McIlvaine, Jesse Riggs, and Kellen Comer, and nine great-grandchildren.
Bob grew up in Pontiac, Michigan and Huntington, West Virginia. In his early years, he was a professional musician, playing lead trumpet with local swing dance bands. He was also a newsman with the Associated Press and an announcer for a local radio station in Huntington.
When the Korean War began he served in combat with the Fifth Marines in 1951 and in several Marine Air Groups during two one-year combat tours in Vietnam. He studied Electronic Engineering, Mathematics, as well as Classical and Nuclear Physics for 24 months full time at two Navy schools as a Marine Corps officer before graduating from Park University in 1987 with a B.S in Management.
Following twenty-four years on active duty with the Marine Corps and having served from Private to Major, he became a civilian employee of the Marine Corps. Upon retirement fifteen years later, he was a Department of Defense Senior Executive Service (SES) civilian serving as the
Assisting Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics at Headquarters Marine Corps. He retired at the grade of SES Level 4, equivalent for protocol purposes to Major General. Overall, he served the Marine Corps for 39 years, 24 in uniform and another 15 years as a civilian. While in that position, he oversaw all logistics support planning for Marine forces participating in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the 1990-1991 First Iraq War. Bob received many awards and commendations for his service.
As a member of the Winchester Host Lions Club, Bob participated in many of the club’s charitable functions, including four years as the Apple Blossom Festival Grand Feature Parade Director and Assistant Director. He also enjoyed his volunteer service at the Lord Fairfax Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and the Watts Program. He spent many special years as a Eucharistic Minister at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church where he was also leader of the parish Scripture Study Group.
Bob was a published author. His book, War in the Land of Morning Calm, is a historical novel based on the Korean War.
During their early years together, he and Marrea made their home in Fairfax County, Virginia. Later they settled in Winchester where they built their home in Meadow Branch Downs. He and Marrea enjoyed traveling throughout the Continental United States, across Canada, and to
many European countries, as well as to Japan and Korea.
Memorial contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to the Winchester Rescue Mission, 435 N Cameron Street, Winchester, Virginia 22601.
All services will be private.
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