Donnie Riggins, age 80, passed away peacefully at home in Cleveland, Texas.
I was born in Greenville, SC. I graduated High School with a basketball scholarship to Clemson University where I played for a year. After that I had a bright idea to join the Navy. They promised everything I wanted to hear, After Basic Training that’s when “shit hit the fan.”
Instead of going to Aviation School, they sent me to Aircraft Carrier USS Hancock in 1959. As you might have guessed by now, I have had a lot of bad outlooks on the Navy. I missed ships movement 2 or more times, but I did finally get an Honorable Discharge and went back to Carolina a changed man.
I had never smoked or had any bad habits before the service, but now I was blessed with all the bad habits anyone could have. I purchased a motorcycle and got mixed up with a pretty bad crowd. I was lucky that I never went to jail. I guess I met my true love of my life, as they say, there is one for everyone.
My story started when I met Joyce at JR’s Coral. She did not think much of me to start with, and I was having 2nd thoughts because she had 3 “wonderful” kids already but as time went by, we decided to tie the knot. By the way that marriage went bad quickly!
As I didn’t want to work most of the time, I wanted to hang out at the beer joint with my friends, until she gave me one more chance to get a real job, but I did not take her serious. Now things went from bad to worse, then we sat down and had a long talk and we decided I would make things better for us.
Just let me say one thing right now, during all this time she worked and paid all of our bills and she sort of had enough of my get rich plans! But she finally agreed to let me try one more time and that was when I was going to show her, I was going to do something for us that was good. So now, it’s been about 36 years for us and the 3 kids.
“God” let me tell you one thing, it’s not been easy for us, but now as I leave this world to my next life, I would not trade my last 40 years for all the money in the world and I want to say to my 3 wonderful children, “I hope you don’t think bad of me as I have always tried my best to be a good father to each of you and to my darling wife. I sure hope that if there is another life after this that you will be by my side, because I want you to know that you have made me a happy man and please don’t cry. Just put a big old smile on your pretty face and think of all the good times we have had and will be looking for you in the hereafter. Love and kisses your way.”
I, Donnie Riggins, wrote this letter on 12/4/20 and this is just a real short version of my life here on this earth and don’t worry because I have made my peace with the Lord and my fellow man.
Donnie enjoyed traveling all over the US and Africa hunting large game animals. He enjoyed living at the lake, fishing, boat riding, skiing, and parasailing. Donnie and Joyce hosted many lake parties. Donnie and Joyce enjoyed making long motorcycle trips with many good friends. Donnie joined the Mason’s in 1967 and was active until the day he passed.
Donnie leaves behind his wife, Joyce Riggins; Children, Tawnia, Tasha and Robby; Grandchildren, Krystal, Peyton, Paige, and Dakota; Great-Grandchildren, Wyatt, Gage, Hazelly, and Lainey; Sister, Clair; along with numerous other relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Anne Riggins; brother, Jerry; and sisters, Tricia and Billie.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, January 29, 2022, at Pace Stancil Chapel, Cleveland, Texas. Interment will follow at Mt. Zion Cemetery, Point Blank, Texas. Donnie wanted everyone to have a beer on him. If you would like to join Joyce and the kids after leaving the cemetery, we will be going to Shifters for a drink. Shifters Roadhouse, 11143 SH 356, Coldspring, TX 77331.