John David Rigney, Jr., (“Dave”) 57 of Central Lake, MI; formerly of East Lansing, MI, passed from this life to meet our Lord and Savior on August 24, 2018 at his home.
Dave was born on October 28, 1960 in Pulaski to John D. and Shelby J. (Harper) Rigney. Dave attended high school in Plymouth , IN; served in the Armed Forces until 1986; graduated from Oregon Institute of Technology with an engineering degree. He was a member Antrim Community Church.
Dave worked 34 years for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA/NOS/NGS; of which over a decade worked as the NOAA Advisor for the State of Michigan, retiring November 2016. Dave’s inspiration to pursue a career with NOAA was after having been introduced to geodetic surveying through growing up on survey parties and initially working with his father during his post-career consulting. During his childhood as part of his father’s work on land survey component of NOAA, Dave lived in over 30 places spanning the Continental U.S., coast-to-coast and border-to-border, and attended over 30 schools growing up; learning a love of traveling and appreciation for the outdoors from this great exposure.
In 2014, Dave received the NOAA National Ocean Service Peer recognition “Rafting” award. He was initiated a member of the Ferris State University, Lambda Sigma surveying Fraternity as an honorary member in April 2014.
In 2001, he received an award by the US Dept of Commerce NOAA National Ocean Service for the 2001 Rotational Assignment Program.
In December 1999, the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels under Governor Paul E. Patton commissioned Dave as a Kentucky Colonel; the highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of KY in recognition of service and accomplishments and contributions to the state and nation.
In 1986, Dave received the KARO Award from the Society of American Military Engineers for combined geodetic federal parties recognition for significantly advancing technology using Global Positioning System for the benefit of the nation and its national defense.
In 1993, he received the KARO Award for the Pacific RIM Survey Party photogrammetry branch NOAA for highest accuracy geodetic survey of 19 islands in the Pacific Ocean, stretching 4,000 miles, through 7 times zones to locate 25 airports and established 2 international boundaries.
In 1996, he received the KARO Award for NGS Caribbean airports Global Positioning System Survey Party NOAA involving 21 international airports in 19 countries providing highest accuracy, 3 dimensional geodetic surveying providing accurate air navigation routes and approaches, improvements to safety of air navigation and enhance military efficiency in future operations.
In April 1995, he received the US Dept. of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration award for completion of the airport familiarization for NOA surveyors course 06044 conducted by the FAA Academy.
In September 1980, he received the Dynamic Maintaineer Award, 801st Maintenance Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (air assault); and December 1982 he received the Army Achievement Medal for the US Dept of Army for exceptionally meritorious service, a bonafide “Warbonnet” soldier of the highest caliber serving with Service Battery, 6th Battalion, 14th Field Artillery.
Dave relished going fishing with fly fishing being his favorite, deer and turkey hunting; especially trips to Oregon and Alaska. He had a love of life and adventure with many interests and passions; among them are biking, boating, golfing, avid reader, telling stories of his travels around countries and people in his journeys of work and life; being at his cabin in East Jordan, MI; traveling to new places and being able to explore new destinations, particularly on his Harley. He was a big music buff and treasured listening to his favorite songs out on the lake. Dave’s greatest love though, was spending time with his family that surrounded him.
In 2013, Dave married Vicki Durr-Marinez Rigney, who survives. He is also survived by their children, Kathryn (H. Kyle Armstrong) Marinez, Michael (Kelley Tomlinson) Marinez, Joseph Marinez; grandson, Maximus JohnRigo Marinez; parents, John and Shelby Rigney; brother, Bob (Nancy) Rigney; niece, Abby Rigney; nephew, Patrick Rigney; close friend, Rodrigo (Wendy Brown) Marinez, Wendy (Schoen) and Joey Davis, Scott and April Schoen and children; along with his much loved aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, John M. and Mattie Rigney, and Lucian and Dorothy Harper from Columbia.
Dave will always and forever be so greatly loved and missed by his family and friends. We are certainly blessed to have such an amazing person in our lives.
Memorial services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at Antrim Community Church, 301 N Bridge St., Bellaire, MI 49615 with Pastor David Hiser officiating. Memorial contributions may be directed to MI Trout Unlimited or Heartland Hospice of Traverse City.
Arrangements are being handled by the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.
Online guestbook at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.