Date of death: 10/2/2013
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1965
RIGGS, FRANCIS NORMAN, 74, of Louisville, died Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at the Norton Hosparus Pavilion. He was born February 27, 1939 in Louisville and graduated from St. Edward Grade School in Jeffersontown and in 1957 graduated with the first class of Trinity High School. He attended St. Thomas Seminary, Saint Meinrad College and Saint Meinrad School of Theology, from which he obtained a BA in Philosophy and Master of Divinity degrees. Norman was ordained a Catholic priest in 1965 and served for seven years. He was a laicized priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville and was a member of St. Gabriel Parish in Fern Creek. Norman worked for two years at Boys Clubs of Greater Cincinnati, while also attending the University of Louisville, from which he obtained a Master of Science degree in Community Development. He moved to Dayton, Ohio, obtaining a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from Wright State University, and worked as a mental health therapist, during which time he obtained certifications of National Certified Counselor and Ohio Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. After returning to Louisville in 1991 to marry his beloved wife, Linda Sims, he became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He completed his career as a member of the faculty at Eastern Kentucky University, with an office in Shelbyville, from which he trained child and adult protection workers for the University’s Training Resource Center. Norman’s professional work for 30 years primarily consisted of counseling youth and persons suffering from chronic mental illness, and training Social Service personnel. Norman was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Annie Ballard Riggs; a sister, Bernita Buschermohle; a brother, David; nephew, Andy; and a niece Gina. He is survived by his loving wife, Linda; sisters, Janet Pabon (Ed) and Mary Ann Shemo (Ron); and brothers, Steven (Barbara), James Patrick (Jane), Sherman (Rosemary), Philip (Jan), Richard (Theresa), John (Terry), and Dennis; brother-in-law, John Buschermohle and sister-in-law, Wanda Riggs. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and their families. Norman was thankful for many life-long friends in Jeffersontown and Louisville, his work colleagues throughout the years and the Trinity High School classmates with whom he recently became reacquainted. He was especially appreciative of the support of his brother priests and those friends in the Midwestern Region Catholic Alumni Club in the Dayton area with whom he shared so many happy times. He was thankful for his entire family and the Sims family, and the friends who cared for and supported him with their prayers during his illness. He was most thankful for his wife and caregiver, Linda. The Riggs family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the medical teams for their professional and compassionate care of Norman during the span of his difficult illness, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Friday, October 4, 2013 at Ratterman and Sons, 3800 Bardstown Road, and after 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 5, 2013 at St. Gabriel Church, 5505 Bardstown Road, with burial at St. Catherine Cemetery, New Haven, KY at 3 p.m. Saturday. Memorial gifts may be made to Trinity High School Foundation or Hosparus of Louisville.Published in The Courier-Journal from October 3 to October 4, 2013.