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William Henry Riggs
  • In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to
  • St. Philip's Church
    142 Church Street
    Charleston, SC 29401
  • In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to
  • The Fisher House
    150 Wentworth Street
    Charleston, SC 29401

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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Billy by adding your memories and photos.


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Memories & Candles

“It was a extreme pleasure to have known Mr Bill he was a character from a forgotten era. His Legacy of homemade pimento cheese will always be in my...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: A friend

Listening to his tunes through headset!  He was too funny!
2 of 10 | Posted by: Diana Rogers

When tired of walking.... RIDE!
3 of 10 | Posted by: Diana Rogers

The day Bill swapped a piece of fried chicken for a chocolate chip cookie!
4 of 10 | Posted by: Diana Rogers

“To Bobby, Eddie, Robin, Becky and all of the Riggs family. We are so sorry to hear about your dad. What a sweetheart he was. I always enjoyed...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: Linda Rumph - Mt. Pleasant, SC

“Here's to a fine Charlestonian, well remembered by my family. Billy was a King Street institution. ”
6 of 10 | Posted by: A friend

“So sorry to learn of his passing but certainly hope you all have wonderful times to remember him by -- and to smile about those memories. ”
7 of 10 | Posted by: Sherry Martschink - Summerville, SC

“I'm going to miss you Mr Bill , so glad I got to hold your hand the other day! Always coming up with funny sayings and stories from the...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: Connie Minter - Summerville, SC

“We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that you are in our hearts and prayers. ”
9 of 10 | Posted by: Bill and Nena Walsh - Aiken, SC

“My dearest Bobby and Eddie,My heart just aches for you as you grieve the loss of your dad. I hope you can find strength and comfort in remembering...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Diana Rogers - James Island, SC

William Henry Riggs, 95, of Charleston, South Carolina, widower of Sara Louise Neese Riggs entered into eternal rest at home Saturday, March 16, 2018. His Funeral Service will be held Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in St. Philip's Church, 142 Church Street at 2:00 p.m. A reception in the church Parish Hall will immediately follow. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel.

Known to many friends as "Billy," he was born July 12, 1922 in Clifton Forge, Virginia, son of Thomas Salkeld Riggs and Ottie Sheppard Riggs. Bill attended public schools in the City of Charleston and graduated from High School of Charleston in 1941 where he was President of the Student Body from 1939-41 and lettered in all four sports. He joined the Naval Reserve at the age of 17 and was activated in 1941-1945.

He married the love of his life, Sara Louise Neese, in March 1944 in Arlington, Virginia. Shortly thereafter, he served in the US Navy with a tour of duty in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He earned Five Battle Stars during his service in World War II: Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Tokyo Bay, Philippines, Ulithi. His ships and stations included the USS Laub in 1940 a summer cruise USNR; USS Chippawa (Ocean Tug), 1943 and the USS Wisconsin.

Upon his discharge in 1945, he returned to Charleston to work alongside his father-in-law, Alpha O. Neese, at what was then known as The White House Grocery on King Street. He and his wife acquired the property at 282 King Street and owned and operated Raley's Cafeteria until 1971.

When in 1980 his son, Thomas A. Riggs, decided to reopen The White House Grocery, he operated the business until his retirement in 1988. In retirement he could be found on the gold course at Patriots Point, Dunes West or The Municipal where he worked as a starter for several years.

Among his many accomplishments were devoted husband, father and grandfather. "Poppy" will be deeply missed by his family. He lived a long and happy life.

The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Diana Rogers and her team of caregivers for the compassionate and loving care given to Bill. They have been constant and devoted companions for several years.

He is survived by two sons: Robert William Riggs (Robin) of Wando, Edward Wilson Riggs (Becky) of Mount Pleasant; five grandchildren: Edward Wilson Riggs, Jr. (Kimberly), Rebecca Riggs Lesesne (Daniel), Ryan William Riggs, William Henry Riggs III (Maari Suorsa) and Sara Riggs Straughn (Palmer); and four great grandchildren: Edward Wilson Riggs III, Lena Kennedy Riggs, Henry Grady Lesesne and Gabriel Somers Lesesne and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his oldest son, Thomas Alpha Riggs of Charleston; two sisters: Martha Ann Riggs Wilson, Helen Riggs Mullican; and two brothers: Larry Thomas Riggs, Richard Lawton Riggs.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Philip's Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401 or The Fisher House, 150 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401.