Mary Helen Riggs, 79, of Dowagiac

Published 4:49 pm Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dec. 7, 1934 — March 6, 2014

Mary Helen Riggs, 79, of Dowagiac, died peacefully at home early Thursday morning, March 6, 2014, surrounded by her loving family.


Mary Helen Riggs

Mary Helen was born Dec. 7, 1934, in Niles to Mildred (Clark) and Artie Ellis. Both of her parents and her second father, Edward Poort, as well as a sister, Judith Smith, preceded Mary Helen in death.

Mary Helen was married to the love of her life, Maurice Riggs, Sr. on April 19, 1953, one year after graduating from Niles High School. After being a homemaker for a number of years, she became employed by Muskegon Piston Ring and later owned Riggs’s Corner Store in Twin Lakes, Michigan for 10 years. Her favorite job was always that of loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Mary Helen was a member of Silver Creek United Methodist Church in Dowagiac.

Mary Helen’s joyful spirit and unconditional love will be greatly missed by her surviving family, which includes her husband of over 60 years, Maurice, her two sisters, Edna (Steve Boskey) Burns, and Alene Jones, and her two brothers Daniel (Theresa) Ellis and Robert (Tina) Ellis along with many nieces and nephews. Also surviving are her children, Belinda (Pepper) Colvin of Edwardsburg, Gloria (Art) Colvin of Edwardsburg, Maurice, Jr. (Yvette) Riggs of Dowagiac, and Julie (John) Hokanson of Dowagiac. Her grandchildren include Jeff Colvin, Matthew Colvin, Stacy (Michael) Scheetz, Marianne Colvin, Maurice (Katie) Riggs III, Christopher (Courtney) Griffin, and great grandchildren include Zachary Riggs, James VanDyke, and Brooklynn Scheetz.

Visitation will be held Monday, March 10 from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be March 11 at 1 p.m. after a one-hour viewing period. The visitation and funeral service will be held at Mission Hills, 61453 M-51, Niles, Mich.

Donations can be made to the Salvation Army of Niles or to Hospice at Home.

Condolences, photos, and memories may be left for the family at or on our Facebook page

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Mission Hills Memorial Chapel.