Cover photo for Catherine Louise Riggle's Obituary
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Catherine Louise Riggle

October 10, 1921 — April 12, 2012

Catherine Louise Bunyard Riggle was born in Morrilton, AR on October 10, 1921 to Edna Cleo Wallace Bunyard and George Washington Bunyard. She was the second child of 7 children. She graduated Acorn High School as valedictorian. Her mother died unexpectedly when Catherine was 18. Soon after, she married her sweetheart and neighbor, Benjamin Bertrand Riggle, in Mena, AR. They took in her youngest surviving siblings and raised them.
After her husband's stint in the European WWII theater, Catherine became a military wife. All but her last two children were born at different Air Force bases. She often had to manage the household alone in strange places and deal with the different lifestyles. She often told stories about adjusting to Japan. Many people here have heard her story of getting six young children to Japan by herself, and then on the return trip, Ben losing the passports.
Once Ben was stationed at Moody Air Force Base in 1965, it was discovered he had a heart condition, and they retired here. In 1971, Ben died of a heart attack. Alone with her last three children still at home, she began her career as a librarian at Valdosta State College. She began as a door checker. Over the next 30 years, she worked in archives, microfilm, microfiche, photocopying, over dues, shelving and circulation. She trained over 30 staff and 600 students. She was well loved by her colleagues and was the go-to person for many university staff and professors.
Catherine was also active in the Valdosta community. She served several positions in the Valdosta Literary Guild. She volunteered every week in the then Valdosta Junior High library and as a Pink Lady in the medical library at South Georgia Medical Center.
She had numerous friends. She held weekly Friday movies and Wednesday spaghetti dinners, often filling her house with more than 20 people. Every year for close to 20 years, she took a trip to different parts of the world with her good friend June Eager.
Even though her dementia circumscribed her activities and eventually took her life, it never dimmed her brilliant intellect or her wonderful sense of humor.
She is survived by her children and their spouses—Barbara and James Easterly, Washington, DC; Sarah and Kay Riggle, Valdosta, GA; Linda Zager Riggle, Valdosta, GA; Margaret and Richard Crider, Houston, TX; Mary C. Freelove, Valdosta, GA; William Joseph and Roberta Riggle, Omaha, NE and Elizabeth J. Riggle, Austin, TX—one brother and sister-in-law, Wayne and Fredda Bunyard, Gainesville, TX; sisters-in-law, Anne Bunyard, DeQueen, AR, Kitty Riggle, Riverside, CA and Dot Riggle, Mena, AR. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
She is predeceased by her siblings and their spouses: Dale and Liddie Bunyard, Mena, AR, Dale's second wife Pearl Bunyard, Mena, AR; Hal Dean Bunyard, Morrilton, AR; Loweta Bunyard, Morrilton, AR; Jack Wallace Bunyard, DeQueen, AR, and Mary Ellen Bunyard and Will Wilson of Charlotte, NC.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 20, 2012 at 12:10 p.m. at St. John The Evangelist Church. Father Dan O'Connell will officiate. Burial will follow at McLane Riverview Memorial Gardens. A rosary will be said at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday evening at the Carson McLane Funeral Home with visitation following until 8:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Hospice of South Georgia, the American Cancer Society, or the American Heart Association. Condolences may be made online at

Funeral Home:
Carson McLane Funeral Home
2215 North Patterson Street
Valdosta, GA
US 31602

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Catherine Louise Riggle, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Starts at 12:10 pm (Eastern time)

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St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church

Valdosta, GA 31602

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