Major Tommy Ansel Rigsby, Sr., Ret.
November 7, 1944 – May 16, 2019
ABBEVILLE — Major Tommy Ansel Rigsby, Sr., Ret. passed away in Lafayette, LA on Thursday, May 16, 2019.
Major Rigsby was born in Roswell, NM on November 7, 1944 to Lowry Ansel Rigsby and Oletha Delores Rigsby. Preceded in death by his parents and grandson, Antonio Mixon. Survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Sybil Hemelt Rigsby, three children, Tommy Ansel Rigsby, Jr. (Patricia), Lori Rigsby Blackwell (Jeff), and Shannon Rigsby Broussard; sister, Lorees Rigsby, brother, Bill Rigsby (Lynda); seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, countless friends and former students.
Major Rigsby is a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving in the U. S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, where he earned a Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal. After the war, his military service continued with the Louisiana Army National Guard as a member of the 141st Field Artillery Regiment (Washington Artillery), New Orleans, and later with the 256th Infantry Brigade in Lafayette, LA. He retired from the Louisiana National Guard after 28 years of service with the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve and the Louisiana Army National Guard at the rank of Major. As a life member of Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798, he was a yearly participant in Memorial Day Services held at Chalmette National Cemetery. He previously also held memberships in the Vietnam Veterans of America Board of Directors Chapter 384, Chapter 500, and American Legion 29 (Abbeville, LA).
Major Rigsby graduated from Ramey High School, Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico in 1962. He attended college at Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Eastern New Mexico University, and Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He earned his B.S. in Education in 1971 from Louisiana State University, New Orleans, a M.S. in Education Administration and Related Fields from University of New Orleans in 1976, and a M.A. in Science Teaching from the University of New Orleans in 1984. He also had over 30 hours of credit in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, Guidance and Counseling, Research and Evaluation, Special Education, and Health and Physical Education.
Major Rigsby spent over 40 years as a school teacher in Louisiana Public School System. He taught at Abramson High School from 1973 - 1995, Abbeville High from 1996 - 2004, and Kaplan High School from 2005 – 2013. He also worked as a deputy sheriff with the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Family and friends are invited to attend the visitation on Thursday, May 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on May 24th from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Vincent Funeral Home, 209 S St Charles St, Abbeville, LA 70510. A funeral ceremony will be held on Friday, May 24, 2019 beginning at 1:30 p.m. at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church, 101 N. Leonard St., Abbeville, LA 70510. Interment with full military honors will follow at Graceland Cemetery, Abbeville, LA. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Vietnam Veterans of America or the American Heart Association.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.vincentfuneralhome.net.
All funeral arrangements are being conducted by Vincent Funeral Home of Abbeville, (337) 893-4661.