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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