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Zola M. Riggins

Zola M. Riggins, age 76, of Philip, formerly of Wanblee, died Tuesday, May 9, 2006, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Services were held Monday, May 15, at the Kadoka City Auditorium, with Pastor Gary McCubbin and Pastor Mark Ford officiating.

Music was provided by Grace DeVries, pianist, Mallory Schaefer, pianist, Julie Neugebauer, vocalist/pianist, and Walt Schaefer, vocalist. Ushers were Sterling and Bradley Riggins, Steve Martinez and Boyd Thorson. Pallbearers were Jody Gittings, Quentin and Cody Riggins, Matthew Schaefer, Vernie, David, Byron and Everette Fite, and Greg Neugebauer.

Interment was in the Kadoka Cemetery.

Zola Mae Fite was born February 15, 1930 in Tolesboro, KY, the daughter of Aure M. and Roma V. (Searl) Fite. At the age of three, she moved with her parents to a ranch south of Cottonwood, SD. She grew up on the ranch and attended rural school in the Cottonwood area. She graduated from Kadoka High School in 1947.

Zola was united in marriage to Rex L. Riggins on October 15, 1947, in Pierre, SD. They made their home on a ranch ten miles west of Wanblee all their married life.

In 1948 and 1949, she taught school at the Eagle Nest Rural School south of Wanblee. While she was raising a family, she substitute taught at Garner Rural School near their ranch. In the early 70s, she taught at the Wanblee Public School until retiring in 1994.

After her husband's death on June 17, 1992, she continued to reside on the ranch until moving into Philip in October 2002.

Zola enjoyed spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the outdoors, especially fishing. She loved to do crafts and write poetry and to this point has had two books of poetry published. Outside of her family, her most joyous times were teaching the children at the Wanblee Public School.

Zola was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Kadoka, and after moving to Philip attended the United Church in Philip.

Grateful for having shared her life are two daughters, Zoni Thorson and her husband, Corky, of Philip, and Jan Schaefer and her husband, Walt, of Wall; nine grandchildren, Jody, Julie, Quentin, Matthew, Cody, Erin, Mallory, Megan, and Michaela; three great-grandchildren, Jamie Marie, Taylor Mae, and Cody Joseph, Jr.; one brother, Maurice Fite and his wife, Vickie, of Philip; one sister, Barbara Diver of St. Louis, MO; a daughter-in-law, Debbie Prouty and her husband, Joe, of Philip; and a host of other relatives and friends.

In addition to her husband, Rex, Zola was preceded in death by two sons, Tim and Guy Riggins; a grandson, Jamie "Spud" Gittings; her parents; four brothers, Vernley, Aurelius, Glen, and Leslie Fite; and two sisters, Marjorie Levy and Darlene Percy.

A memorial is established. Rush Funeral Home of Philip is in charge of arrangements. Written tributes may be made at www. rushfuneralhome.com