Dolores Foremaster Riggs

Dolores Foremaster Riggs, 91, passed peacefully from this mortal existence July 13, 2020. She was born April 5, 1929 to Lindau and Hortense Russell Foremaster, the second of four children. She attended St. George Elementary, Woodward Junior High, Dixie High, and Dixie Jr. College where she was active in sports, music and home economics activities. As a young girl, she, along with her family, would travel the 50 miles by team and wagon and old truck to the Arizona Strip where they were homesteading. They would go as soon as school was out and then return in the fall for school. To go see anyone, she would have to ride a horse the 5 or so miles to where her cousins were. She helped her father on the farm hauling hay, thrashing beet seed or doing whatever was needed. After graduation from high school, she worked one summer in Los Angeles, staying with her sister.

In 1947, she met Jerry Albert Riggs, from Hatch, UT. They were married June 25, 1948 in the St. George Temple. They lived in Hatch that summer, and then moved to St. George where they raised their 3 children. Together with good friends, they spent many years square dancing, attending dance jamborees in Nevada and Colorado, as well as all over Utah. She was an expert seamstress, and created many beautiful things, from her award-winning square dancing dresses, tailored coats and wedding dresses.

As her children grew older, they became involved in activities and so did she. She was involved in PTA on a school and county level and 4-H. She served faithfully in her church callings, which included Primary teacher, Ward and Stake Primary President, Young Women Presidency Counselor and Advisor, Relief Society Presidency, ward and stake genealogist. She taught 4-H groups in sewing, cooking, heritage, entomology, and in 1966 started the horsemanship program in Washington County. Hundreds of youth benefited from her 30+year efforts, receiving state and national awards and scholarships. She was the Washington County 4-H Council President for many years, in addition to her continuing work with the youth of the county. She was president of the St. George Beautification Club, a member of the Race Track Committee, Red Cross, March of Dimes, St. George Planning and Zoning Committee, and Chairman of the St. George Heritage Week, as well as a guide for St. George Live. She was called on to help judge exhibits at county fairs and horse shows.

She, honoring her pioneer heritage, served in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, involved in the local camp leadership as well as Washington County DUP President, a Regional Representative to the International Daughters Board, and for over 15 years was director of the DUP Museum in St. George. She was honored with the 1979 State Farm Bureau 4-H Leadership Award, for her years of work with the youth of the county the 1983 Honorary Alumni of Utah State University, 1984 Women of Achievement Award, Utah State University 1998 4-H Alumni of the Year, and was the Grand Marshal of the 68th Dixie Roundup. In addition to her family and community service, she worked for Rocky Mountain Company and managed the Milne Truck Line terminal in St. George terminal for many years.

Her pioneer heritage was a passion not surpassed. She was often sought out for the histories and pictures of ancestors, St. George and surrounding communities, and can be seen in videos about the history of St. George, the St. George Temple, Grafton, and Washington County. She was a fierce defender in preserving the history and relics of the past. She learned to serve others from her parents. She helped her mother who was in charge of a group of women from the newly formed 6th Ward that organized to help earn money to build a new chapel. For 4 years they provided weekly dinners to civic groups and others in order to raise the money needed for the chapel on 400 East, as well as helping her mother pick out the 2 paintings that would hang in the chapel.

In addition to her family, her passions included gardening, providing weekly floral arrangements for church meetings, visiting friends and shut-ins, and taking flowers or a loaf of freshly baked bread to anyone who needed a lift. Holidays were always spent with extended family and friends.

She and Jerry did some traveling, visiting places of interest in the south, mid-west, church and history sites, Europe, Canada, Alaska, and the South Pacific. Her highlights were being able to visit her ancestral towns in England and Germany.
She was the love of Jerry’s life – just having celebrated 72 years of marriage. Though dealing with health challenges, she always wanted to cuddle with him. She fought a valiant battle with dementia for over 10 years, the last several years not understanding what was happening and sometimes who family members were. Her face would light up when “her Jerry” would come to visit.

She is survived by her husband, Jerry, her 3 children, Lindau Merrill (Michele), Sherilyn (Vertis) Benson, Russell Albert (JoLee), 8 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, brother EJ (Bea). She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Ida and her brother LaVar, and 1 great-grandson Ethan Rivera.

We extend our love and thanks to the many friends and family who have helped these last years, as well as the medical professionals and staff at Southgate Senior Living Memory Care.

In light of current COVID guidelines, a graveside service will be held Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at the St. George City Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the missionary or temple department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St, St. George, Utah. Friends and family are invited to sign her online guest book at To watch a webcast of the service (live or up to 90 days after the service) go to Type in the event number 33070 and password DFR2020.



Second Visitation




10:00 a.m.
St. George City Cemetery
650 E Tabernacle St, St. George, UT 84770

Guest Book

21 Responses

  1. We send our sincere sympathy and condolences to the Riggs family. I loved Dolores and had wonderful times working with her in D. U. P. I will miss this remarkable friend.

  2. Sherrilyn & Riggs Family,
    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother, she was a great lady. I was always so impressed with her at The Meadows when she and your dad would spend time together. You could tell they loved to be with each other. This is sure interesting times when we lose our mothers and can only have a graveside service. I hope your dad is doing well under these circumstances. What a blessing it is to know that she is not suffering anymore.
    Our thoughs and prayers are with you at this time.
    Nancy Bowler Holyoak and Family

  3. Dear Jerry and Family, We are so sorry to hear of your Sweetheart and Mother’s passing. Dolores was a beautiful, talented, friendly woman. We are all benefiting from her dedication to our Heritage here in Washington County! She always had a beautiful smile! We send our love and prayers for you all. ❤️🙏🏻

  4. So sorry for your loss. Great Lady Great Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Thought the world of Delores.

  5. She is my sweet Aunt. I will always love, and cherish the example she was in my life.

  6. To the Riggs family from an old neighbor
    Your mother was one of my teachers as a youth in primary and was also on the street that I moved to. She was a wonderful woman and friend. My sincere condolences in the loss of a great woman. Love to all.

  7. My thoughts and prayers are with you during your loss of a very special wife, mother and grandmother.

  8. I had seen Mrs. Riggs thru the years at church and riding horses out in the bushes near my house. She had a little bay mare she loved. It was obvious that little mare loved her too. They were avid barrel racers together. I only saw Mrs. Riggs or her daughter riding it.

    After running our horses thru their practice routines of circles, figure eights, poles and barrels I had set up, we would ride on trails by the black hill or thru the flats and roads out by our house…We would talk about a lot of things. She talked my sister Linda and i Into joining a 4-H horse club…We were our own club since we were older and had trained horses…The two of us taught a group of kids with their horses.

    I was amazed when Mrs. Riggs bossed my dad into agreeing to come to Washington County’s first participation in the Utah State 4-H horsemanship competition in Nephi. Dad fixed horse’s shoes, mended equipment and loaded all horses when time to go.. For Washington County’s first time in state competition we did very well with lots of blue ribbons in every division. Mrs. Riggs was so proud.

    The next year Linda and I taught another
    4-H horse group. I was too old to compete in the state horse show. That year I drove Linda and her horse up to Lagoon by myself. Mrs. Riggs and I wore ourselves out getting riders and their horses all shiney and groomed perfectly. Again Washington County took blue ribbons in all divisions.. Mrs. Riggs was so pleased our county startled the rest of the state as a contender to watch out for. I was not involved after that due to moving on to college and other activities. We still rode horses together . She told me proudly how fast the 4-h horse program was spreading in Washington county.

  9. Russ and Jolee, our thoughts and prayers are with you at the loss of Dolores. For sure she is in a better place, free of pain and suffering. I can’t believe it has been 36 years since we were your neighbors for a short time. We’ve missed your friendship and hope we’ll run into you one day as we have returned to St. George. With much love, Nancy and Ivan Lines

  10. Russ and Jolee, our thoughts and prayers are with you at the loss of Dolores. For sure she is in a better place, free of pain and suffering. I can’t believe it has been 36 years since we were your neighbors for a short time. We’ve missed your friendship and hope we’ll run into you one day as we have returned to St. George. With much love, Nancy and Ivan

  11. So sorry for your loss. What an amazing woman! She accomplished enough for two lifetimes! My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this difficult time.

  12. Delores was a special lady. Always so willing to help others. She had a laugh that warmed you from top to bottom.
    She’s now where she will find peace and her mind can be at rest.
    Blessings to all of the family.

  13. I have so much love and appreciation towards Dolores Riggs who played a big part in my 4-H horsemanship life. Without her I could have not gone as far as I did in the 4-H Horseman program. I didn’t realize at the time how much she was of benefit to me. As the years have gone by, I think often of her and how she took me and my mom, Lola Esplin, under her wing and truly helped us towards goals we had no idea even existed. My favorite saying from her was, “You guys line is up as crocked as a dogs hind leg.” My favorite times with Dolores was practicing late on summer evenings as a group of 4-H kids on our horses then riding back to the corrals on 700 South after the sun had gone down.

  14. To Russ and his extended family,

    I offer our sincerest condolences at the loss of your dear mother. Your mom was a great and dear friend to mine. My mother looked up to her with great respect. I remember our trip with our mothers to Caliente, Nevada for a Little League All-Star baseball game. What a time we had—I even think we won the game! Your mom was wonderful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Translate »