There’s very few men who loved the outdoors the way Mike did.
He passed on the passion of the great outdoors down to his son and grandchildren with camping trips, late night bonfires, fishing, hiking and stories of how he fought fires all over the country as a Strike Team Leader and Probeye Operator (Wildland Fire Suppression). In the last years of his life, he was often found soaking up the sun, working in his garden, and making gallons of his sought-after salsa.
Michael Jean Riggleman died in his home April 8, 2020, surrounded by his family after a 17-year grueling and hard-fought battle with Multiple Myeloma. He also warriored an eight-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Born July 1, 1947, in Henderson, Kentucky, he was the first son to parents Ray and Jean Riggleman and big brother to Pat. His family moved to the rural area of Gordon, Nebraska, to farm and be closer to family.
His rural upbringing was the perfect backdrop to spin stories about one room schoolhouses and life on the farm. When he graduated high school, Mike got an itch to see the world and joined the Navy in 1966 as a medic for four years. Rarely would he ever talk about the Vietnam war, but he loved telling stories to his grandkids about how great and small this world is.
After the war Mike came home and as fate would have it, he met his future wife working for Catherine’s dad at Otte Packing in Clinton, Nebraska. They were married May 27, 1972, and moved to Missoula, Montana, to begin his education as a Forester. The couple spent a decade in Oregon before moving to Newcastle, Wyoming. They enjoyed all the activities the Black Hills had to offer before following their son (actually, the grandchildren, let’s be honest here) to Kearney, Nebraska.
He was preceded in death by his parents Ray Henry Riggleman, Jean (Roberts) Riggleman. Mike is survived by his wife Catherine, his son Chris and his wife Heather and their children, Cheyenne, Elijah, and Victoria. He is also survived by his younger brother Pat. Mike is also survived by niece Christine Dregalla, husband Matt and their children Marcus and Colby. He is also survived by niece Liz Riggleman and her husband A.J. Wolkins.
Private family services and burial were held Monday, April 13, 2020. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.