Monday, June 22, 2015

Volunteer Spotlight--Sue Riggins

    Sue Riggins.

    When visitors enter the Peteetneet Museum on Wednesday afternoons they will be greeted by a very friendly group of ladies.  One of those ladies with the beautiful smile and sparkling eyes is Sue Riggins.  We feel very fortunate to have Sue as one of our Tour Guides.  When she was asked to give us some background on her she submitted the following:
    “Coming full circle describes my living in Utah – I was born in Payson.  My mother was  Audra Finch of Goshen and my father was Donald W. Wilson of Payson.  They were both raised, schooled and married here.   Their family consisted of my sister Jacalynn and I.   Their marriage lasted but a few years. 
    Mom took my sister and I to California and then on to Kansas after she remarried.  Life there was great fun for a kid.  We lived in a poured concrete house on the plains out of Weskan, Kansas for a few years.  It once was owned by a horse thief, according to my new grandma, hence doors to the outside from every room.   It was hard for my mom (lots of rattlesnakes, no electricity, coal burning stove and water from a pump at the kitchen sink.)   My new dad  eked out a living helping with wheat farming.  It was near the end of the 1940’s.  We finally moved to Wichita where he got a job with  Boeing Aircraft.  It was the main employer of the area.  I went to Kindergarten there.
    We later moved to Santa Monica, CA when I started first grade.  My step-father got a job at Douglas Aircraft. Later my mom divorced, got a job and remarried for a third time.  She married the only man my children have ever known as a Grandfather.  We all call him “Grandfer.”
     I  call Santa Monica  “home” as I was raised there, met my husband Ken there, and we started our family there.  What a fabulous place to grow up.  There was Samohi, the beach and so many great friends. 
    Ken and I moved from city life, post Watts-riots, to Hesperia, CA.  This is the upper desert above Cajon Pass.  It was a great place to raise kids, animals and have a small orchard to can fruit.  Our Children, 4 girls, enjoyed the rural life participating in 4H and then FFA as well as sports and scouts. 
    My husband became a contractor and coached football teams throughout his life.  From pop-Warner to College as time permitted.   I worked there for a physician and then, as my education completed, I worked in the HIM (Health Information Management) field. 
    Ken got an opportunity, after our children had left the nest, to work as a Site Manager for Fed-Ex at LAX.  This great job led me to work for PHS (Professional Healthcare Systems- Later Keane, Inc.)  We moved to Marina Del Rey and lived on a boat in a slip at the marina.  What a fun time in our lives.  I traveled on my job to many hospitals to assist with their medical records software conversions.   I had jobs from Long Island NY,  to Kauai HI.  Ken loved his work and I mine.
    The grief of a tragedy (the murder of one of our daughters) led me back to our home, Ken returned as well after an accident.    We lived in Hesperia until the year both Ken and my mother died.   I sold the house and moved to Arizona with my youngest daughter, where I lived happily for five years, watching grandchildren grow and sharing the fun.  I was doubly blessed as another daughter and her family lived only 2 blocks from her sister.  My oldest daughter and her family live in Colorado.
    I now have returned to Utah, live with Gradfer, and enjoy small town life.  I am lucky to live next door to my Aunt.  The lovely people, and breathtaking landscape keep me content.”
    Sue is one of our most outstanding Tour Guides and the museum and we feel very fortunate that she has joined the other great volunteers at Peteetneet.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Sue. Not sure if you'd remember me but I worked for ken at Honeywell/FedEx from 90-94'. I attended that time you guys hosted us one evening on your boat. I happened to just see your post. So sorry to have read about the losses of your mom, daughter, and of course, Ken. He was a great guy and one of the sincerest, understanding, and funnest boss an employee would want to be around. I look back at that time and it makes me smile you recall all the shop talk laughter we had with Ken back then. I will always Remember his contagious laugh, big smile, and big heart. Sue, remain the tough cookie that you are, and hope you share my thoughts on never saying good bye to lost loved ones, but rather " see you later"