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 Ruby Merle <I>Magers</I> Riggan

Ruby Merle Magers Riggan

Birth
Death 12 Sep 1995 (aged 67)
Burial Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 32894256 · View Source
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Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN) - September 13, 1995
Tractors plowed Ruby Riggan's way into business
Ruby Magers Riggan came to Memphis as a young housewife and mother, but would make her mark on the Mid-South business community and the entire business world.
Born in Hernando, Miss., she attended Mississippi State College for Women; she met a young Army sergeant, Charlie Riggan, who just returned from World War II and enrolled in Mississippi State University.
The couple would wed and have twin daughters while living in married-student housing at MSU, then in 1949 move to Memphis, where she became a homemaker and he went to work for a farm implement firm.
Three years later, the couple purchased Arkansas Tractor Co. in West Memphis and for eight of the next 10 years it would be the largest Case tractor dealer in the world. Their investments would expand into banking, farming, telephones, home and commercial construction, an automobile dealership and a national minority empowerment program.
''She serves on the board of directors of all of these companies, and not just in name,'' said son-in-law John Lowery. ''She's been an active participant in all of them - excellent in business.''
Mrs. Riggan died Tuesday at her home after a yearlong battle with breast cancer. She was 66.
''She would say, 'Charlie will sell it, and I'll collect the money.' '' said Lowery.
In 1962, the couple bought Deerland Planting, a 2,000-acre farm in Tunica County, Miss., and continued to farm that land along with up to 15,000 acres leased in Mississippi, Arkansas and Shelby County. They also co-founded Fidelity National bank in West Memphis in 1966, and, in 1967, the Bank of Olive Branch, which in 1972 merged into the Bank of Mississippi.
In 1974, they acquired Merrie Oldsmobile in Collierville and rights to the old song Merrie Oldsmobile. Annual sales increased from 60 cars to 2,500.
The Riggan Group includes residential and commercial construction companies, which has built major facilities all over the country, including Morgan Keegan Tower, Waterford Plaza, and Plough Tower in Memphis. A bid by Riggan to build a hotel to serve Memphis Cook Convention Center was rejected and the contract went to Chattanooga contractor Franklin Haney.
Riggan owns North American Communications, specializing in telephones for colleges and prisons, including the Criminal Justice Center and the Shelby County Correction Center.
''Ruby Riggan is actively involved with and a significant stockholder in all of the companies,'' said Lowery. ''She's involved in day-to-day management and has been since her youngest daughter has been grown. So she's been active for at least 20 years.''
She was a member of First Baptist Church of Collierville.
Services will be at 10 a.m. today at Memorial Park Funeral Home, burial in Memorial Park.
Mrs. Riggan is also survived by three daughters, Cheryl Benson, Linda Wood, and Terry Lowery, her mother, Lula Magers, and one sister, Polly Hyman, all of Memphis; two brothers, Milton Magers of Bella Vista, Mo., and Rauden Magers of Chicago, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
The family asks that any memorials be sent to the American Cancer Society.


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  • Created by: Paula
  • Added: 13 Jan 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32894256
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ruby Merle Magers Riggan (18 Sep 1927–12 Sep 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32894256, citing Memorial Park Cemetery, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Paula (contributor 47020109) .