Emily Bayly RiggsJuly 14, 2006
Brunswick-Emily Bayly Riggs, World War II veteran and naval researcher and community leader, died on July 14 in Alexandria, Virginia at the age of 88 from medical complications related to a hip fracture. She was the wife of the late Bruce J. Riggs.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Mrs. Riggs graduated from Western High School at the age of 16 and entered George Washington University where she became the first woman in the school's history to receive a degree in chemistry.
There was a strong family tradition of science in her family. Her father, Lyster G. Bayly, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate, was a senior civil engineer for the Department of the Interior and designed the Alaskan Highway and both the Skyline Drive and George Washington Parkway in Virginia. She was the daughter of Amy Morgan Bayly.
At the outbreak of World War II, Mrs. Riggs volunteered for military service. The U.S. Navy quickly recognized her scientific talent. She was commissioned as a naval officer and assigned to top secret research in anti-submarine sonar. This highly successful technology protected Allied naval vessels and saved thousands of lives.
Following the war, she and her husband were married in Washington, DC and settled in Troy, N.Y where they raised their three daughters. Mrs. Riggs devoted her energies to many community activities including the PTA, the Girl Scouts, and the Samaritan Hospital Auxiliary. She served for 25 years on the Board of the Troy Visiting Nurses Association, including a term as president. Until just recently, she continued to serve on an advisory committee.
After her husband's death in 1987, she remained active in the community and enjoyed the company of her friends in Troy. She loved to travel and made many visits throughout the country with her children and grandchildren.
Mrs. Riggs was a member of the Illium Club, the Troy Women's Club, the Troy Country Club and the congregation of St. John's Episcopal Church.
She is also pre-deceased by her son-in-law Thomas Q. McNaughton. She is survived by her three daughters Emily R. McNaughton of Alexandria, Virginia; Carol R. Purdy (wife of Dr. David E.) of Houston, Texas; and Gail R. Kelley (wife of Dr. Mark A.) of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; and her two grandchildren Christopher R. Kelley and Amy M. Kelley (fiance of Adrian Chan). She is also survived by her sister-in-law Thelma J. Riggs.
Funeral service will be held Saturday at 11:00 AM at the St. John's Episcopal Church 146 First Street Troy with Rev. Dr. Harold Carrier, Rector, officiating
Relatives and friends may call at the Bryce Funeral Home Inc. 276 Pawling Avenue Troy Friday from 4-7 PM.
Interment Oakwood Cemetery in Troy.
Contributions may be made in memory of Mrs. Riggs to Dystonia Medical Research Foundation One East Wacker Drive Suite 2430 Chicago, IL 60601-1905.