Funeral services for Catherine Riggle, 83, of Needville, TX are set for Saturday, 8/9/2014 at 2:00 P.M. at Garmany & Carden Funeral Directors Chapel, 3103 School Street, Needville, TX 77461 with a private family burial to follow.
A time of visitation will be held Friday, 8/8/2014 from 5-7 P.M. at Garmany & Carden Funeral Directors Chapel, 3103 School Street, Needville, TX 77461.
Catherine Inez Davey Wright Riggle died Wednesday; July 30th, 2014 at 7:40 P.M. in Needville, Texas. She was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, great-grandmother, and teacher. She was born September 21, 1930 in Louisville, Kentucky to Walter Ignacius and Carrie Essie Gregory Davey. She was also blessed with a sister, Janet Mae Davey Champagne.
Although born in Kentucky, Catherine was raised in Providence, Rhode Island. She collected and pasted in a myriad of albums, pictures of her youth and young adulthood. There really were pictures of her walking to school in the snow bundled from head to toe and wearing snow boots! There were also pictures of Catherine playing with her family and their Cocker Spaniel, going to Church, and school dances. Many pictures also showed her family at the beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and their family home in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Catherine had so many fun and funny stories to tell about her childhood. But, one story she told of a near tragedy showed the bravery and heroism of her mother, Mrs. Davey. On Catherine’s birthday in 1938, her mother took Catherine, her sister and some friends to a movie in downtown Providence. When they left the movie, there was a terrible storm outside. Patrons tried to get back inside the movie theater away from the rushing water in the street; but, the manager locked the doors and would not let them in. In winds up to 100 miles per hour and torrential rains pouring down on them while skirting fallen power lines, Mrs. Davey and her young charges traveled by foot and home to safety. This horrific storm is now known as the Great New England Hurricane of 1938.
While living in Providence, Catherine met her first husband. Elvin Doyle Wright was a member of the United States Navy. He served during the Korean War and was stationed in Reykjavik, Iceland. Catherine and Doyle met while he was on leave in Rhode Island. They married shortly after she completed her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the Rhode Island College of Education.
Doyle was transferred to Texas where they ultimately made their home. In 1958, along with her father-in law and brother-in-law, Catherine and Doyle built their own home in Needville. They had six children: Walter, John, Robert, Patsy, Wayne, and Kathleen. There are so many stories to share; but, one in particular was during another hurricane. The family decided to leave Needville and seek shelter at the Wright family home in Groveton during Hurricane Carla. On the way to Groveton, the family stopped near the Trinity River to baptize Kathleen who was less than a month old. In 1967, Catherine and Doyle were divorced.
Catherine was a first grade school teacher in the Needville Independent School District for almost 30 years. Catherine had a wealth of friends in the administration, faculty, and staff at the elementary school. In particular, Geraldine Waits Winkelman was a friend whose laughter and wit made her an adopted family member. Catherine, Geraldine and the kids shared many summer evenings making ice cream and playing croquet. In later years, Catherine brought home another good friend that the entire family loved. Her name was Dee Briscoe and she was a new kindergarten teacher. It brought so much joy to Catherine and the entire family when a few years later, her son John married Dee and gave her another daughter. Catherine loved being a teacher and she loved her students. She prepared handmade gifts for them for the holidays. She was always so happy and pleased as the years passed and she witnessed her students graduating from high school and becoming young, successful adults raising their own families.
Catherine was a talented seamstress. She could also crochet and knit. Through their early years, the family of eight would attend Easter Mass in matching attire. The boys all wore matching shirts and the girls matching dresses. Like her mother, Catherine worked on a Singer sewing machine and lovingly made clothes for she and the girls. She made dresses, bathing suits, coats, sweaters, and scarves. When she was no longer able to perform the hand-sewing due to carpal tunnel syndrome, Catherine began quilting. Many of her grandchildren were given these quilts for their high school graduations.
A few years before Catherine retired from Needville ISD in 1986, she met and married Wallace Riggle. Catherine retired from school so that she could travel across the United States with Wallace. As a union electrician, Wallace was able to procure employment almost anywhere. He customized the interior of a van for them to travel from job to job and they were off! As he got closer to retirement, they purchased a travel trailer. For several years, they were on the road much of the time. They had friends all across America. Some of her children called Catherine, “Ramblin” after Rambling Rose.
Catherine and Wallace’s rambling days drew to a close as Catherine began displaying the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Wallace took loving care of her at home until he was encouraged to seek the help of the wonderful staff at the SPJST Rest Home in Needville. She lived in the rest home for several years and was cared for with great love until her death. Her family wishes to convey their utmost thanks for the years of love and service from the staff at the SPJST Rest Home.
Catherine was predeceased by her parents, sister, two spouses, and one step grandson Bobby Riggle. She left behind a great legacy of love through her children: Walter and Daphne Wright of Austin; John and Dee Wright of Richmond; Robert and Madge Wright of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania; Patsy and Roger Collins of Huntsville; Wayne and Becky Wright of Conroe, Kathleen Wright of Dickinson and stepson Robert Wayne and Kathy Riggle of Arlington. Her grandchildren are: Camille Parks, Walker Parent, Cheryl Zwahr, Christopher Wright, Erica Alvarez, Casey and Eric Boyer, Clair, Austin, and Ellyse Collins, Nathan and Carlos Wright, Cassidy and Dallan Hayworth, Deanna Greer, Daniel Davis, Stacey Reynolds, and Matt Riggle. She also has 21 great- grandchildren: Desmond and Lucian Parks, Cale and Canton Zwahr, Chloe and Dalton Wright, Casey Rae, Colton, Cayden, Brooke and Meadow Boyer, Madeline Wright, Toby, Julie, and Austin Jenks, Tyler, Trevor, and Katelyn Greer, Dominique, Hailey and Alexandra Davis. She also has a wealth of nieces, nephews and friends that will sorely miss her; but, cherish her memory.
Condolence messages may be written for the Riggle family at www.garmanycarden.com.
Memorials may be giving in her memory to Needville I.S.D., P.O. Box 412, Needville, TX 77461.
Services are under the direction of Garmany & Carden Funeral Directors, 3103 School Street, Needville, TX 77461 (979)793-4515.