Obituary: Richard Hurt Riggs

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Richard Hurt Riggs, 85, died Nov. 27, 2019 at Williamson Medical Center. 

Mr. Riggs was born to the late William Kelly Riggs and Lillian Jarratt Riggs on June 2, 1934. He grew up in the Salem Community, Tennessee, in the heart of a large, loving family with five siblings and his beloved aunts, uncles and cousins. He was a member of Salem Methodist Church.

Richard attended Rockvale School and Murfreesboro Central High School. He went to Middle Tennessee State University, and following college moved to Nashville, where he was employed by a loan company. He met and fell in love with Ruby Smith, and they married in May of 1960. Richard and Ruby bought a farm in College Grove where they raised cattle. Eventually, they moved back to Nashville and bought a convenience market on Franklin Road. 

He was quite the entrepreneur. He and Ruby also owned the Franklin Motel on Main Street in downtown Franklin for three years. Richard became a Realtor in the 1970s in Williamson County and was a well-known figure in the Franklin community. He also bought and remodeled rental properties and was known for financing homes for people who could not get loans at the bank.

Richard was a beloved figure in his neighborhood, where he rode his bicycle when he was well up into his 80s. He was a volunteer at the Senior Citizens Center in Franklin, where he drove their bus six days a week for 15 years. Richard had a servant’s heart and was always eager to volunteer on the holidays so that others could be with their families. He was a kind and gentle man who was adored by his family, neighbors and everyone who knew him. He will be greatly missed.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Marjorie (Roy) Chapman, Kitty (Bill) Burns and Sue Gill (Jimmy) Galloway; and his brothers, Johnny Riggs and Billy (Billye) Riggs.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ruby Smith Riggs, and by cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at Woodfin Memorial Chapel on Monday, Dec. 2, from noon to 1 p.m., followed by a funeral at 1:30 p.m. and burial at Evergreen Cemetery. Dr. Dean Sisk will officiate.

An online guestbook for the Riggs family is available at

Woodfin Memorial Chapel. 615-893-5151.