April 14, 1930 — September 20, 2017

Jean Riggs passed away of age-related causes on October 20, 2017 in Wilsonville. Jean was a long time resident of Corvallis.

She enjoyed 87 adventurous years.


Jean was raised in Hood River, Oregon. Her parents, Roy and Bessie (Harms) Miller, grew fruit on 40 acres near Pine Grove. She had one younger sister, Jane.

Jean attended the University of Oregon, where she graduated with a degree in sociology. While at college she met her future husband, Jim Riggs, an engineer from Oregon State. Jim and Jean were married in 1951 prior to his deployment as a Marine in Korea. During the war Jean working for the Boeing Company in Seattle.

Once Jim returned safely, they settled in Corvallis. In 1957 they purchased a home west of the campus where Jean resided for 56 years. Jean assumed domestic duties to support her husband’s career as a professor, department head, author and consultant. It was Jim’s worldwide speaking and teaching engagements that fueled Jean’s passion for international travel.

Jean raised two children, Randy and Robin Riggs, who also became OSU engineers.

The family split their free time between a condo in Newport, the Corvallis house and a mountain cabin at Crescent Lake.


To the disappointment of her family, she remained a dedicated Duck fan.

After her husband’s premature death in 1986, Jean continued to travel the world extensively, frequently accompanied by her daughter Robin.

Jean’s passion for creating and collecting craftwork was legendary. She was a long time member of PEO. In later years, Jean became a staunch supporter of animal and environmental causes.

Jean is survived by her daughter Robin Tate with husband John and favorite black lab Fred in Portland, nephew Steve Larsen and family in California, and son Randy Riggs and partner Elaine on the island of Kauai.

Memorial services will be private.

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