Marlene Knight Riggs, born October 12, 1935, passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 22, 2019, surrounded by family and loved ones. Ready to greet her on the other side were her husband Wes, her brother Ron, her parents Keith and Lila, and four grandchildren. Left to carry on her legacy are siblings Sue Bennett and Steve Knight, her seven children: Rita (Les) Pico, Raylene (Greg) Anderson, Rosemarie (Gary) Gunnell, Russ (Jesse) Riggs, Renay (Kevin) Barnwell, Ryan (Rikki) Riggs, and Rebecca (Rusty) Tingey; 36 grandchildren, and 47 great grandchildren.
Marlene will always be remembered for her contagious laugh, her bounding energy, her cheerful enthusiasm, her generous spirit, her unwavering faith, and her overflowing love she gave to everyone around her. We will miss her deeply.
Marlene has touched the lives of many people in many places. She actively sought out the one. No individual is anonymous–no encounter is insignificant. For example, at restaurants while we would be looking over the menu and deciding what to order, Mom would be visiting with our server–making a new friend and sincerely learning all about her. At family gatherings we would be visiting and suddenly realize mom wasn’t there. A search would find her sitting on the floor happily playing with dolls with a small granddaughter. Of the 4 full-time missions she served with Wes, three of them were spanish speaking. The language was an obstacle for her, but did that stop her from seeking out the one? No! She carried pens, pencils, gum, and candy in her purse so that she would have a small gift for each child she encountered.
Marlene loved being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She found joy serving in a variety of assignments, and would throw her heart into each one exclaiming that the calling she currently had was her “very favorite one.”
Marlene has made the world a better place, one connection at a time. If you are one of the many she has singled out and touched, please come celebrate her legacy. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at 5350 E McLellan Rd, Mesa, AZ 85205. The family will be receiving loved ones prior to the service (10:00 – 10:30 AM) and also on Friday, December 27, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the same location.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Church’s Missionary Fund