Age 68, of Batavia, died peacefully Thursday afternoon June 13, 2013 at Buffalo General Hospital. He was born April 20, 1945 in Batavia to the late Leo & Gertrude (Heindl) Riggs.
Mr. Riggs was an active life member of St. Padre Pio Parish in Elba/Oakfield, and was a Eucharistic minister as well as a maintenance person for the two church sites. He designed and helped build the new shrine located at the Elba church site.
He graduated from Elba Central School in 1963, with honors, and was the Bausch & Lomb award winner for the highest cumulative GPA for math and science in 4 years of high school. He attended the University of Buffalo, where he majored in electrical engineering, and is a lifetime member of Gamma Phi fraternity. He was a member of the former Batavia Moose Lodge, and current member of the Warsaw Moose Lodge. An avid aviation enthusiast, he was a private, instrument rated, multi-engine, & commercial pilot, and flew from the Genesee County airport for over three decades. He was a ham radio operator under WB2CTF.
Mr. Riggs enjoyed farming, gardening, woodworking, construction, and always enjoyed an incredibly dry Beefeater martini!! He had a passion for antique and early model Mercedes-Benz cars.
In 1967, Mr. Riggs founded PCB Piezotronics in Lancaster, NY. The company manufactured piezoelectric quartz sensors, accelerometers, and associated electronics for the measurement of dynamic pressure, force, and vibration. He worked with several companies including NASA, Boeing, Smith & Wesson, Federal and Winchester ammunition. He performed ballistic testing, pressure and vibration sensor work for NASA, and accelerometer work with NASA and the U.S. Air Force. In the 1970's & 80's, he outfitted NASA with sensor gauges for the rocket boosters on the space shuttle.
In 1994, Mr. Riggs founded Apollo Research Corporation in Buffalo, NY. The company conducted several research projects including a patient bed weighing system, a touch probe sensor, an implanted inner ear hearing device, and several other research projects in the medical and dental field. His most recent research was in development with NASA and the U.S. Air Force, which contained a self diagnostic accelerometer for mission critical health monitoring of aircraft and spacecraft engines. This device was most recently tested with NASA and the U.S. Air Force at Edwards Air Force Base on C-17 aircraft. Terry currently holds 7 patents registered with the U.S. Patent office.
Surviving is his beloved wife of 43 years, Jane C. (Klein) Riggs of Batavia; loving children, Jeanette (Dennis) Hillenburg of Villa Rica, GA, Michael Riggs of Batavia, Daniel Riggs of Palm Springs, CA and Kathleen (Mark) Allen of Batavia; dear cousins, Shirley Maloney of Batavia, Frederick (Betty) Wolf of East Aurora and Michael (Patti) Wolf of Orchard Park; sister-in-law, Diane Stackhouse of Elba; brother-in-law, Daniel Klein of Akron; nieces, Carrie Ohlson of Clarence, Katherine Schweigert of Clarence, Denise Stackhouse of Elba; nephews, David Klein of Akron and David Stackhouse of Elba.
Family and friends may visit from 3-8 PM on Monday June 17, 2013 at the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, LLC 4120 West Main Street Batavia, New York 14020 where prayers will be recited 9:15 AM Tuesday June 18, 2013 followed by a Mass of Christian Burial 10:00 AM at St. Padre Pio Parish (Elba Site), with burial in St. Cecilia's Cemetery, Oakfield. Memorials in Terry's memory can be made to the family who will distribute to various charities.
Please share your memories of Terry, with his family at www.tomaszewskifh.com and for more information call Michael at (585)343-7500.
THE FAMILY OF MICHAEL "TERRY" RIGGS IS BEING CARED FOR BY THE MICHAEL S. TOMASZEWSKI FUNERAL & CREMATION CHAPEL, LLC 4120 WEST MAIN STREET ROAD BATAVIA, NEW YORK 14020.