John Bryon (JB) Riggs, a World War II veteran, who taught at area high schools for more than 35 years, died Friday, May 16, 2014, at Northwoods Village. He was 96.
JB was born Aug. 13, 1917 in Johnson County, to Charles and Meta (Saltwell) Riggs. He grew up in Francesville and graduated from high school in 1935. He received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from Purdue University. He married Sara Martha Miner, his wife of nearly 63 years, June 17, 1951 in Windfall.
JB started teaching vocational agriculture and farming practices at Galveston High School in 1941. From 1942 to 1945, he served in the Army Air Corps at the rank of tech sergeant as a weather forecaster stationed in North Africa and Italy. He returned to teaching at Galveston High School in 1946 and started teaching at Kokomo High School in 1957. JB retired in 1981 from Haworth High School, where he had taught biology and related sciences. At Haworth, he started the outdoor science lab.
JB was an active member of the Galveston United Methodist church, where he taught the Willing Workers Sunday School class for more than 50 years. He was a charter member of the Galveston Lions Club, a member of the Galveston American Legion, and a member of the Howard County Retired Teachers. For more than 30 years, he was a 4-H club leader in Cass County.
In 1958, the family bought a 1939 International school bus and converted it into a motor-home. “Alice in Wonderland” took JB and Sara (with family) to every state capital, except Hawaii, and every provincial capital of capital of Canada — more than 250,000 miles.
Surviving JB are his wife, Sara and his children, Susan (Rick) Rust, Kokomo, Tom (Marsha), Galveston; and Bob (Misty), Alabaster, Alabama; and a niece and several nephews. JB was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Naomi Ruth Budd and Homer, Helen, and Marie Riggs.