John I. Riggs, Jr.
July 29, 1930 – March 31, 2022
Carmichael, California – Full of days, John Riggs is finally home with his Jesus. John spent 91 years with us all, 71 of which were blessed by the companionship of his beautiful wife of almost 68 years, Joan. Just to speak with John was to know that he considered Joan to be the best of his very accomplished and blessed life. The two first met on a blind date in 1951 in Columbia, MO. They married on Good Friday in 1954. John and Joan went on to live in 5 states before John retired from the US Air Force in Carmichael, CA with their four children, Janice, Jeff, Jim, and Jerry.
John was the eldest of 3 children born to John and Helen Riggs. He grew up in Kansas City and earned a bachelor’s degree in education and organic chemistry from the University of Missouri. In 1953, John was commissioned in the US Air Force, which sent him to St. Louis University to earn his degree in meteorology. John subsequently earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Baylor University in 1966 before teaching chemistry at the Air Force Academy from 1964-1970. Over the course of his 23 years in the Air Force, John’s assignments took him to Bryan, TX, Thule air base in northern Greenland, Tacoma, WA, Waco, TX, Colorado Springs, CO, and ultimately Carmichael, CA where he served at McClellan Air Force Base in a classified rocket laboratory. After retiring from the Air Force a Lt. Colonel in 1976, John worked as a safety engineer at Aerojet from 1977-2008 and taught physical science at American River College for 35 years, finally retiring in 2011 at the age of 81.
John, a cheerful servant and faithful man of God, was an active member of his local churches and loved sharing the reason for the hope he had in Jesus. He served as an elder, worked in youth groups with Joan, enjoyed taking communion to the housebound, and loved teaching his adult Sunday school class from 1986-2015.
His brilliant mind, coupled only with humility, made him a lifelong learner. He was famous for his unprompted chemistry lessons on a molecule’s structure, using just a napkin and a pen. He enjoyed building and flying model airplanes and duct tape and epoxy glue could fix any problem. He lived each day without fear of tomorrow.
Until we meet again, John will be missed most by his beautiful bride Joan, and their four children Janice Silberstein (Karl), Jeff (Mila), Jim (Christy), and Jerry (Kris), as well as 11 grandchildren and his sister Louise Weeks. His family gives thanks for the life of John, beloved husband, father, and man of God. We rejoice that he is home with the Father.
Join us to celebrate the life and homecoming of John! May 21, 2022 at 2pm Christ Community Church 5025 Manzanita Ave Carmichael CA
Published by & from May 14 to May 15, 2022.