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Eulora (Laurie) (Ravn) Riggs

Born: Sat., Nov. 22, 1924
Died: Sun., Aug. 28, 2016

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 Eulora (Laurie) Riggs, age 91, of Chesterton passed away on Sunday, August 28,2015 at Chesterton Manor. She was born November 22, 1924, in Kankakee, Illinois, to Irene (Powell) Ravn and John Ravn who preceded her in death. Also preceding her in death was her husband of 72 years, Warren Riggs, and brother, Clarence Ravn.

She is survived by son John Riggs of Bellingham, WA, daughter Penny (Jim) Marx of Valparaiso, IN along with grandchildren Brian Marx of Porter, IN, John (Holly) Marx of Valparaiso, IN, and Andrew (Jessie) Riggs of Bellingham, WA. She also leaves behind 7 great-grandchildren, one great-great granddaughter, and her sister Cathy (Bill) Silva of Libby, MT.

During WWII she and Warren were married in Boston, Mass. He served on the USS Baltimore and after his departure she returned to Kankakee and signed up to work at Kaiser Ship Yards, Vancouver, WA. At that time workers were recruited and given free transportation from coast to coast to aid in the war effort. So her mother packed a basket full of food and she boarded a train in Kankakee, and was delivered to a dormitory in Vancouver, WA to be trained as a welder, specializing in vertical and overhead welding. She began building Liberty ships and later built Victory ships. These welders became known as “Rosie the Riveter”.

Once her husband’s ship, the USS Baltimore became damaged in the South Pacific and was sent to Mare Island (SanFransisco) she transferred from Vancouver to Mare Island to be with him during the repair project. After the war she utilized her overhead welding training by working for General Motors in Chicago. In 1957 Laurie and Warren moved to Chesterton where they were best known for being the owners of Riggs’ A & W Drive-In, later converted to a family style restaurant known as Riggs’ Fireside Inn.

A private family service has been held. Memorials may be given to VNA Horton Hospice in Eulora’s name: 2404 Valparaiso, IN 46383. Arrangements are under the direction of White-Love Funeral Home, Chesterton. To send an online condolence, please visit: www.whitelovefuneralhome.com.

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Carol Hodsden
   Posted Tue August 30, 2016
Laurie was my first real boss. I went to work for her and Warren in 1995, I was 16 years old. She seemed so tough at first. She demanded that I tuck my white button down shirt properly and behave like an adult. I wanted to quit but my mom wouldn't let me.

It was not long before I grew to adore her (and her her pies). She would check to make sure I made enough in tips before I left, and if I hadn't she would slide me a few bucks out of the register. She could have ordered pies to sell like every other restaurant in town, instead she woke up very early on a daily basis and hand crafted each one with love. You could taste the love. Don't get me wrong, she remained tough but mostly on the outside. In hindsight, she reminded me of her pies. She was sweet and sometimes even gooey in the middle.

I am so sorry for your loss. She meant more to me than she probably knew. She taught me a great deal about work ethic and pride. I believe she did that for many of her employees. She was an important member of this community and helped to shape it in her own special way.

Judy Johnson
   Posted Wed August 31, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a mother is difficult, indeed. I did the accounting for Laurie during the 1990's when Riggs' Fireside Inn was operating until it was sold. She was such a hard worker and good cook. Many times she brought cookies or treats to our office for us to enjoy. She was a lovely lady.

   Posted Wed August 31, 2016
I'm sorry for your loss. I was a tenant of her apartment for many years and she was always so nice to me. Rest in peace Laurie.

Jan Needler
   Posted Thu September 01, 2016
Penny & Jim - I am so very sorry to hear about your mom's passing - I remember her well and I think she was one of the hardest working women I've ever met. She must have been a good mother, also, because of the way you turned out. Please accept my sympathies and love.

Kirk Wiebe
   Posted Thu September 01, 2016
Deepest sympathies to the family. I remember Mrs. Riggs and her husband and son John working so hard to open their first restaurant, the A & W stand all those years ago. A wonderful lady who will be remembered so well by so many.

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