Sara Riggs 

Sara Riggs 

“Sara Riggs passed away Saturday morning, Feb. 13, 2022, in Leesburg, Virginia with her granddaughter holding her hand and singing her to Heaven,” her family wrote in a tribute. She was 98. 

Sara, known all of her life as Sally, was the second child born to Horace V. and Katharine B. Cory of Newark, New Jersey. She attended elementary school in Newark and, in 1941, graduated from Millburn High School in Short Hills, New Jersey.

She attended Elmira College in Elmira, New York, graduating in 1945. “Her college friends,” her family wrote, “were a very close-knit group since it was during World War II and most of the young men were off in the military. 

“Sally was an active and accomplished athlete in college, winning the coveted White Blazer for being the outstanding athlete her junior year. It was during her college years that she met her future husband, Henderson Riggs, on a blind date at Cornell University.

“Sally and Henny were married in 1945 and lived briefly in Washington, D.C. until he was discharged from the United States Navy. Their next home was in Ithaca, New York for the three years that Henny was in law school. Their first child, Kathy, was born in Ithaca, with David and Barbara to follow after they moved to Elmira.

“Sally was always actively involved in her church and in her community. She was a Brownie leader and Sunday school teacher in Elmira. She was also very active in the Junior League.

“In 1958, Sally began her 22-year teaching career in Horseheads, New York. In 1960, the family moved to Albany where she taught fifth and sixth grades at Westmere Elementary and Farnsworth Middle School in the Guilderland Central School District. She remembered all of her students and loved running them when they were older.

“Sally was the heart of her home. All her children’s friends, teammates, and roommates were always welcome. The Riggs family hosted foreign-exchange students from Chile, Japan, Borneo, Mexico, and China. Sally maintained contact with some of them up until her passing.

“After her retirement in 1980, she spent much of her time helping others. Sally helped a friend found the Guilderland Food Pantry, she delivered Meals on Wheels, and she was very active at St. Boniface Episcopal Church. She was one of the founding members of the church, which met at the Westmere firehouse its first year.

“Horses played a big part in her retirement. She enjoyed riding her horses, first Rags, then Sandstone Beau. She kept the horses with Mickey and Pete Oliver on Gardner Road. Her beloved chocolate labs followed along happily wherever she rode. Sally also had several horses that raced on New England tracks. She often took her children and grandchildren to watch the horses train on the Oklahoma Track at Saratoga.

“Sally did not know a stranger. She was an easy conversationalist and a wonderful listener. She moved to Middleburg, Virginia in 2006 to be closer to family and immediately embraced the country lifestyle!  However, every summer she returned to spend the summer with her daughter and son-in-law on Warner Lake.

“Fourth of July fireworks, family reunions, and Wednesday night mussels at the Highlands were some of her favorite summer memories. She entertained her church friends and “Dutch Girls,” the group that went to visit Gelderland in Holland for Guilderland’s sesquicentennial. Laughter, memories, and photo albums were front and center at those lunches on the deck overlooking the lake.

“Sally was a beautiful person and a special friend to many. She loved people, especially her family.  Her children and grandchildren were always first in her heart. Sally was also fortunate enough to know and love her five great-grandchildren.

“She always had a smile on her face, and her laugh was unforgettable. She was a very enthusiastic sports fan, with hockey and football being her favorites. Sally loved college hockey beginning with Cornell and RPI, but it was the Washington Capitals that really stole her heart. The New York Giants were her gridiron favorites.

“Sally is sorely missed by those she leaves behind.”

****

Sara Riggs is survived by her children, Katharine Riggs Van Wie and her husband, William, of Houston, Texas, David Cory Riggs and his wife, Ayako, of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Barbara Stark Riggs of Middleburg, Virginia.

She is also survived by her grandchildren, Matthew Cory Van Wie and his wife, Kathryn, of Houston, Texas, Sara Van Wie Mizener and her husband, John, of Vienna, Virginia, and Sara Masuda Riggs of Honolulu; and by her great-grandchildren, William, Jackson, and Caroline Van Wie of Houston, Texas, and Caleb and Gabriel Mizener, of Vienna, Virginia.

Her parents, Horace and Katharine Cory, died before her, as did her brother, John C. Cory, and her husband, Henderson G. Riggs.

A Celebration of Life will be held at The Altamont Manor on Wednesday, June 29, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Memorial messages may be left at www.altamontenterprise.com/milestones.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Guilderland Food Bank, Post Office Box 7, Guilderland, NY 12084 or to St. Boniface Episcopal Church, 5148 Western Ave, Guilderland, NY 12084.

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