Jerry Albert Riggs

Jerry Albert Riggs, 92, passed from this earthly life on August 13, 2020, exactly 1 month to the day that the love of his life passed away and his heart was broken. He was born on February 4, 1928 in Hatch, UT, the second child of Orlas James and Estella Smith Riggs. He grew up in Hatch and attended school there through the 6th grade and then went to school in Panguitch. He worked at the sawmill, which was the only employer in town. In 1945 he went to Cedar City to attend school at the Branch Agricultural College, now known as Southern Utah University.

During the summer of 1946, he met Dolores Foremaster, who was with her mother at their property in Hillsdale for the summer. He said she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, and at church, asked her out for their first date, a dance in Panguitch. It was love at first sight. She convinced him to transfer to school at Dixie College in 1947. They became engaged at Christmas time and were married June 25, 1948 in the St. George LDS Temple. They lived that summer in Hatch while he worked in the timber and at the sawmill, and then moved back to St. George so Dolores could finish school at Dixie College.

Jerry worked for Premium Oil Company, Woodbury Lumber Yard and Construction, and then in 1950 went to work for Rocky Mountain Produce. He was a salesman with customers from Beaver to Delta, and then Gunnison to Kanab. He drove this route twice a week, and once a week would go to Page, AZ, when they began construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. During this time, there were many stranded motorists along highways 91 and 89 who received help from him. After 36 years and over 2.5 million miles, he retired from Rocky Mountain and spent his time farming, raising cattle, and in property development. During those many years on the road, he always stopped and spent time with his parents in Hatch and always made sure they had what they needed. If someone ever needed any help – he was there to offer assistance.

Dad believed he was here to help and support his love, Dolores. Being married to her meant that he was involved in all of her activities. With good friends, they spent many years square dancing, attending dance jamborees in Nevada and Colorado, as well as all over Utah. He spent many hours helping with 4-H horse shows, gardening club presentations, and most recently, supporting her with the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer projects and museum renovation. If they were going to do something, they did it together. He was active in the Sons of the Utah Pioneers for many years.

Jerry and Dolores were able to do some traveling, visiting places of interest in the south, mid-west, church and history sites, Europe, Canada, Alaska, and the South Pacific. Most of all, he loved to spend time in Hatch – even just to ride around in the hills and check the wildlife, or just sit on the front porch and look at the beautiful pink cliffs.

He faithfully attended his forever sweetheart through her 10-yr struggle with dementia in spite of his many health challenges. Even though it was difficult for him to have her in a memory care facility the last several of years, he still loved spending time with her, even if just holding hands and kissing. When she passed away last month after 72 years of marriage, he said, “Now I can go.” In his last 10 years, he suffered from multiple health challenges. Through all of his trials, his faith in God was never questioned. He had a firm testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and fought hard to endure to the end. He deeply loved his family and was a wonderful example of a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

He is survived by his 3 children, Lindau Merrill (Michele), Sherilyn (Vertis) Benson, Russell Albert (JoLee), 8 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and brothers Earl (Maxine) and Duard. He is preceded in death by his wife, parents, siblings John Riggs, Ralph Riggs, Ilene Foote, and 1 great-grandson Ethan Rivera.
We extend our love and thanks to the many friends and family who have helped him through these last few years, the medical doctors and professionals, and the staff of Dixie Hospice.

In light of current COVID guidelines, a graveside service will be held Saturday, August 22, 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 his online guest book at



Second Visitation




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

Guest Book

13 Responses

  1. Our prayers & love are with the family. May the treasured, wonderful memories sustain you through this sad time. God Bless!

  2. So sorry for your loss. I know you take comfort in the knowledge your parents are together again. They are probably dancing again. Our prayers and love are with you.
    Judy and Karl.

  3. Such an amazing person who was loved by so many! His length of life and marriage is so inspiring! I know my sister in law and best friend (Jennifer Kirkland) misses him so much and I’m so happy she had such an amazing Grandfather. I pray for his family and friends for comfort. May he rest in peace and enjoy heaven with his beautiful wife!

  4. A very sweet story of your mom and dad. They were so blessed to be able to be together again so early ❤️

  5. Jerry was truly one of the good guys. He was devastated when his wife started to show signs of dimentia.Just a wonderful person.signed Rick Franks

  6. Remember him and his siblings well as he was the cousin of my mother Thora Riggs Porter. My condolences to the family. Happy for him that he is now with Dolores. What a long beautiful marriage.

  7. Sending our love to your family. Jerry and Dolores were a great team. They were always willing to share their many talents with others. We loved them dearly and learned a lot from them.

  8. Our sincerest condolences to this wonderful family! Their reunion had to have been the best!!

  9. Russ, Sherilyn, and Merrill,

    It has been a pleasure knowing your Father (and Mother). He always made us feel at ease. We have enjoyed him at our PD luncheons, for his humor, and broad smile. We know he will be greatly missed by not only you and your families, but by all those who knew him, We will miss attending a Service in his honor as this virus continues to rob us of paying our respects to some great people we have known, and who have made our lives a little better because of it. We realize we are saddened by his death, but rejoice in the firm knowledge that he and Dolores are once more together once more, in a happier place with no pains and aches. Sincerely, Kelly & Patricia

  10. Sending our love and sympathy to your family. Your parents lived a wonderful example of love and devotion to each other, their family, the community and the Church. They leave a great legacy.

  11. Jerry was great man when i was down he was there for me i brick jerry &russ house my sincerest condolences rick

  12. We always enjoyed Jerry’s warm and friendly sales visits at the Service Cash Market in Panguitch. My father, Jay Riggs, and his partner, Frank Orton, thought very highly of him. Often I and other store workers would assist unloading the Rocky Mountain Produce truck and occasionally would be rewarded with a watermelon. It was nice to know I was his relative. Joe Riggs

  13. I met Jerry in 1969 when I worked in a store Jerry came once a week for our produce order he always had a joke or two and was always easy to work with 10 years later I move to St. George and worked with his son Russell. My sincerest condolences to the Family.

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