Frances Claudia Spurgeon Riggs was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on October 4, 1927. She was the wife of the late Sylvester Stephen Riggs and the mother of five children: Stephen Franklin Riggs (deceased), Claudesta Laverne Riggs, Marcia Yvonne Riggs, Helen L. Riggs-Allen, and Sylvester Kevin Riggs, Sr. She died in hospice care at home on September 10, 2020 in Nashville, TN.
Mrs. Riggs was a graduate of Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina and a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She was also a trained vocalist who offered concerts in local churches for many years with her mother as her accompanist. She was a faithful Sunday School teacher and choir member of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church in Salisbury, Maryland; choir director and pianist at Christian Plain AMEZ Church in Whiteville, North Carolina; and a member of Thompkin Chapel AMEZ Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Over the years, she taught in the public school systems of Hallsboro, North Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee as well as served as a social worker in Salisbury, Maryland. She was beloved by her students. Her passion for public service continued after retirement through volunteer work. After retirement, she continued to pursue her passion for worship and music by serving as a musician on Sunday mornings for services all over the Chattanooga area when called upon to serve. Over her many years of Christian service, she served as the Chair of Christian Education, worked with numerous Vacation Bible School programs, worked tirelessly with women’s ministries and was a devoted member of several church choirs. She also worked with the election polls for several years.
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