On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, Gilbert Allen (Gil) Riggs lost his nearly one year battle with COVID. He died peacefully at EGRMC, with his wife of nearly 49 years, Kathy Newsome Riggs at his side.
A Harley riding, Jesus loving, people pleasing, GS Football torch bearing, story telling, teddybear, Gil was known for his compassionate, loving and giving personality.
He was larger than life, in his stature and heart for others. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and the community.
Sweet Tea and Sweeter Story Hour
The family is holding a “Sweet Tea and Sweeter Story Hour” to celebrate the life of Gil Riggs. The celebration is being held on Sunday, July 11 at 2:30 pm at one of Gil’s favorite places, Uncle Shug’s on Main (formerly R.J.’s Steakery at 434 South Main) in Statesboro.
If Gil impacted your life in some way, please join the family and share your story.
Gil was a man of many talents, but what he succeeded most at was making everyone he come in contact with feel welcome and special.
Regency Photo Founder
His love of people and passion for photography was a combination that allowed him to preserve memories for thousands of families for over three decades as founder of Regency Photo.
In addition, he inspired, mentored, and encouraged scores of hobbyists and professional photographers.
After retiring from the photo processing business, he found a second career driving a Bus for Bulloch County Schools. Like everything Gil did, he worked to become the best bus driver in the system.
Soon he was training other drivers and competing in bus driving competitions, where he took the top spot and earned the title, “Road-e-o King.”
The real win, however, was the love “Big Gil” had for all the children lucky enough to ride his bus. Even though he had to retire from driving due to his health, his goal was to return to the bus seat once more.
Powerful Presence in our lives
Gil was a wonderful uncle by marriage to me. My wife Lori Grice, his son’s Josh and Will, grandbaby Nora and niece Edie Grace were his pride and joys.
Gil often reminded me that I chose him, when I married Lori. It was one of the easiest and best choices I have ever made.
He was a wonderful mentor to Lori and I, and hands down the smartest person I have ever met when it comes to anything to do with photography.
What I loved most about Gil, was his ability to love you, when you felt like nobody else did. Lori and I often wonder what our lives and careers would be like, without Gil. We owe him a great debt, but he wasn’t much on allowing you to repay him.
His compassionate, giving heart was the reason he lived a simple life. His inner joy came through the outer joy of helping others.
Gil always had a great story. He lived life to the fullest and loved deeply. He remained sharp mentally till the end and played a critical role in the I.T. and data management for our businesses, Lori Grice Photography and Grice Connect.
Remembering Gil Riggs at his best
Gil and I were always picking on each other and joking around. On May 1st, his wife Kathy called Lori and I to tell us how excited Gil was that he actually got to drive again for the first time in almost a year.
He had gained enough strength to use a wheelchair and maneuver into a car and drive away all by himself. However, he could not stand and did not put the wheel chair in his car.
I jokingly told Kathy I was going to call SPD and report a suspicious and intoxicated driver and give them Gils cars description. Then encourage them the ask him to step out of the car so they could do a sobriety test.
When Kathy regained her composure from belly laughing, she called Gil to warn him. When he returned, they shot this video in response to my “threat.”
This is the Gil we all knew and loved and exactly the way he would want us to honor his memory.
Yesterday, we lost one of the good guys. We will miss him tremendously, but happy he is now pain free, riding his Harley on streets of Gold.
Click here to view Gil Riggs obituary.