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Thelma J. RiggsAugust 19, 2007
Troy - Thelma J. Riggs, a resident of Beechwood Retirement Community in Troy, died Sunday, August 19, 2007 after a brief illness.
A lifelong resident of Troy, she was the daughter of the late Mary Karnaghan and Dennie B. Riggs.
A graduate of Troy High School, Miss Riggs earned a Bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a Master's from New York State College for Teachers in Albany.
Miss Riggs was a teacher at Argyle Central School and Cazanovia Junior College before returning to Troy where she was employed by the Troy Board of Education, first as a teacher-secretary-accountant, then as the Business Administrator, retiring as Assistant Superintendent of Schools. She also served as the Clerk of the Board of Education and of the Troy School District for 26 years.
She was active in the New York State Association of School Business Officials as well as the National Association of School Business Officials and was a charter member of the Capital Area Association of School Business Officials.
Miss Riggs was an active member of Christ Church United Methodist and at various times served as lay leader, Superintendent of the Education Committee, Chairman of the Administrative Board, Trustee, Chairman of the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee and on other church-related committees. She was the first woman elected to the Board of Trustees of the former Fifth Avenue State Street Methodist Church. She was also a member of Church Women United of the Troy Area, formerly serving as President and Treasurer. Following her retirement, she was active in community affairs as a member of the Board of Directors and an Honorary board member of Vanderheyden Hall, the Troy Women's Club; as president of the Ilium Literary Club and a member of its Board of Directors, and as president of the Board of Beechwood Retirement Community. She served as treasurer and member of the Samaritan Hospital Auxiliary, and as a member of the Rensselaer County Historical Society and the Troy-Cohoes YWCA.
She is survived by her beloved nieces, Emily (Anne) R. McNaughton of Alexandria, VA, Carol R. Purdy (Dr. David) of Pearland, TX, and Gail R. Kelley (Dr. Mark) of Bloomfield Hills, MI. She is also survived by her grandnephew Christopher R. Kelley of Washington, DC and her grandniece Dr. Amy Kelley Chan (Adrian) of Boston, MA. In addition, she is survived by her very special friends Mary Ellen, Kierstin, and Gary Scott of Hoosick Falls, NY. In addition to her parents, she is predeceased by her sister-in-law and brother, Emily B. and Bruce J. Riggs, her nephew-in-law Thomas Q. McNaughton, her cousin Helen M. Holmes, and her special friend and long-time companion Edward J. Kelly.
Funeral service will be held Wednesday, August 29, 2007, at 10 am at Christ Church United Methodist , 35 State Street, Troy, NY, with Rev. Nina Nichols, Pastor, officiating.
Relatives and friends may call at the Bryce Funeral Home Inc., 276 Pawling Avenue, Troy, NY, on Tuesday from 4 to 7pm.
Interment Greenwich Cemetery in Greenwich, NY.
Contributions may be made in memory of Thelma J. Riggs to the memorial fund of Christ Church United Methodist, 35 State Street, Troy, NY 12180.