Francis P.'s Story
Mr. Francis Porter Riggs, 94, of Gloucester, passed away on Monday morning with his loving family at his side. He was the husband of Rosemary (Clarke) Riggs with whom he shared 70 years of marriage, just missing their 71st wedding anniversary by one day.
Frank was born May 1, 1922, in New York City, son of the late Francis P. and Margery (Cummings) Riggs. He spent his early childhood on Long Island before the family moved to Chappaqua in Westchester County where he attended grade and high school, graduating in 1942. Always interested in art and design, he graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in the Industrial Design Department.
After Pearl Harbor, Frank signed up with the Air Corps and entered the service in October 1942. He had his training in Florida, Texas, and completed one semester at the University of Arkansas. He graduated from Lakeland Air Base, Texas, in multi-engine planes. He was sent overseas to the ETO and was based at a small field near London. He spent several months in France before being shipped to Prestwick, Scotland, where he lived next door to his future wife, Rosemary, who he married on September 13, 1945. After working as a designer in Massachusetts, he moved to Provo with Milo Baughman Design.
Frank taught part-time in the design department at BYU and at the same time decided to pursue his lifelong love of art with a career in contemporary sculpture. At the annual state invitational art show in 1976, he was awarded first prize for a piece that now resides in the State Art Collection. In 1978 he won a competition for a large piece at the Salt Lake Parks Department. His largest piece was done in 1979 and was installed at Exchange Place in Salt Lake City. Some of his other large pieces are at the Springville Museum and on the campuses of BYU and Utah State. Smaller pieces are in private collections throughout the USA, Stockholm, and Japan. In 2001, Frank was honored, along with three other artists, by the Lieutenant Governor at her second annual invitational Art Exhibition held in the Capitol Rotunda.
After 40 years in Utah, Frank moved back to Gloucester with his wife in 2008. In addition to his loving and devoted wife, Rosemary, Frank is survived by his children, John P. Riggs and his wife, Kaye of Yakima, Wash., Gillian A. Brown and her husband, William G. IV of Gloucester, and Jacqueline J. Wahlstrom and her husband, Don of Providence, Utah; eight grandchildren, including Marnie Conti of Corbett, Ore., William G. Brown of Gloucester, Heather Riggs of Somerville, Mass., Sean Riggs of Lancaster, Calif., Tyler Riggs of Cleveland, Ohio, Eli Wahlstrom of Seatac, Wash., Evan Wahlstrom of Gig Harbor, Wash., and Eric Wahlstrom of Milleville, Utah; and 15 great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased earlier this year by his sister, Joan Everett.
Frank’s Memorial Service will be in Trinity Congregational Church, 70 Middle St., Gloucester, on Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations in Frank’s memory be made to the Grace Center, P.O. Box 135, Gloucester, MA 01930 or the Open Door, 28 Emerson Ave., Gloucester, MA 01930. For online condolences and register book, please visit www.pikenewhall.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester.
Published on  September 15, 2016