Clifford Lawson Rigby, 88, of Gainesville, Ga. Peacefully passed away on Friday, March 24, 2023.
Cliff was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Perin Stowers, son-in-law David Caldwell, and brother-in- law Jim MacMaster. He is survived by his wife Dottie of 64 years, his sisters Wilna Rogers and Ruth Eschete (Carrol), his sisters-in-laws Helen King (Phil), Avis Mohney (Bill), and Teri MacMaster, his daughter Tracy Caldwell, son-in-law Scott Stowers, grandchildren and spouses Jeremy Caldwell (Meghan), Stephanie DCruz (Denzyl), Michael Wood (Aransa), Sarah Harrison (Cabe) and Leah Stowers, 6 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cliff was born on August 21, 1934 in Seminary, MS to the late William Lawson Rigby and Mamie Lou Downing Rigby. He graduated from Gulfport High School in 1952 and then Millsaps College in 1956. He served in the Air Force for 5 years with his final time served at Dow Air Force base in Bangor, ME. where he met the love of his life, Dottie Henry. They married in October of 1958. In 1960, Cliff was called to the ministry and they moved to Decatur, Ga. where he attended Columbia Theological Seminary. After graduating seminary, he served College Hill Presbyterian Church near Oxford, MS then Pontotoc First Presbyterian church in Pontotoc, MS. He returned to Columbia Seminary in 1968 and received his master’s in Clinical Counseling. In 1971, Cliff began working with Northeast Georgia Mental Health Center. He worked for 20 years in northeast Georgia’s Mental Health Program then retired. Throughout his ministry life he supply ministered to several smaller churches in the area including Memorial Park/Trinity Presbyterian church serving for many years on and off. He also served a time as the “oldest youth director ever” at First Presbyterian church in Gainesville. Then served as a Parish Associate at First Presbyterian, Gainesville. He volunteered with Meals on Wheels, was active with Gainesville Lions Club, was a volunteer boat driver for the 1996 Olympics, volunteered with The March of Dimes and served Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center as a chaplain.
Cliff was an avid tennis player until the age of 80. He was forever an animal lover and loved to be in the outdoors or watch wildlife in his own backyard. He LOVED his children with his whole heart. If they were in distress or celebrating, he was always there to support them. When there was time for a ball game whether it was soccer, baseball, softball or volleyball he would do what he could to be there for his kids and grands.
We are so thankful for the many nurses, doctors and caregivers that have been there for Papa Cliff including Theresa Jackson, Hospice of Northeast Georgia and Gardens of Gainesville Memory care staff and caregivers. You have been such a blessing to not only Cliff but all of our family. Thank you!
Cliff’s Celebration of Life Service will be held at First Presbyterian Church Gainesville, Ga. on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. Donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund, Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center or charity of your choice. For those who cannot attend, the service will be live streamed through First Presbyterian Church website at www.fpcga.org
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Georgia 30501 is in charge of arrangements.
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