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Steven Riggs

January 18, 1954 ~ September 7, 2018 (age 64)

Steven R. Riggs, nicknamed Rookie, Mayor Hog and Ump, passed away at age 64 on Friday, 9/7/18, at Gwinnett Medical Center from Liver Cancer caused by Agent Orange poisoning and Hepatitis C contracted from his illustrious service in Vietnam. Born in Martinsville, VA in 1954, Steve spent most of his adult life in Metro-Atlanta, and was a long-time resident of Lawrenceville, GA.    Steve enlisted in the U. S. Army at age 15, serving bravely and heroically in Vietnam as a Forward Observer with the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), 1st Battalion/506th Infantry, C Company from 1969-70, then stateside after VN (Germany and stateside with different divisions).  An unassuming hero in VN, he was awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Air Medal, CIB, and ACM among others.  After college at Georgia State University, he became a commercial painting project manager.  Steve proudly managed many large projects in Atlanta including sites for the 1996 Olympics, the Omni, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Turner Field, the Georgia Dome, Atlanta Hawks offices, numerous Ted Turner properties, and several of Atlanta’s skyscrapers.  He also worked as an Assistant Poll Manager for Gwinnett County Elections for several years.  He was a great patriot, gentleman, loving husband and father, animal lover, benefactor, and friend to hundreds.  Known well for his wonderful sense of humor and infectious laugh, Steve was a true comedian whose quick wit was both twisted and crazy, often playing elaborate tricks on his friends.  Loved by many, Steve will be truly missed.   Steve was a member of American Legion Chattahoochee Post 251 in Duluth, GA and VFW Post 5255 in Lawrenceville.  He was fiercely passionate about his causes and donated to numerous charities.  Steve was survived by his wife and best friend of 45 years, Sheila Berry Riggs of Lawrenceville, GA, his daughter Chrystina S. Riggs and son-in-law Christopher R. Bishop of Decatur, GA, “Adopted Grandchildren” Sadie and Cameron Brown of Marietta, GA, brother-in-law Randy Payne of Martinsville, VA, sister-in-law Mary Wolfenbarger (Joe) of Canton, GA, brother-in-law Robert Berry (Michel) of Stockbridge, GA, several aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.  Our pets Zeus, Sadie, Bear, Houdini, Rascal, Goldie, Mr. Grey, and Charlie are missing him very much.  He was pre-deceased by his parents Katherine McMillan Lindholm and Earl C. Riggs, brother Michael R. Riggs, and sister Diane S. Payne.   He will be cremated and his ashes will be spread in several places that he loved.  A Celebration of Life Party to be held at the American Legion Post 251 in Duluth, GA will be announced later.  Although Steve was able to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, we have decided to keep him close so his cremains will be interred at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA with full honors - date to be announced.  Memorial donations can be made to the following charities:  PEThoodGA.org (Planned PEThood of Georgia, Duluth), GaLegion251.org (American Legion Chattahoochee Post 251 in Duluth), DAV.org, and SPLCenter.org (Southern Poverty Law Center). Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.billheadfuneralhome.com. Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory Duluth Chapel, 770-476-2535.

 

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