The vibrant, multi-faceted life of Thayne Riggs came to an end on Jan. 24, 2014.
Born Jan. 28, 1929, Thayne’s 85-year adventure began in Oklahoma. The “dust bowls” of 1935 and 1936 drove his sizable family from the panhandle of Oklahoma to the plains of Colorado in search of suitable ranching land. Thayne’s youth was spent “on the range,” helping his tightly knit family run their cattle ranch in Limon, Colo.
A natural and accomplished horseman, Thayne worked as a cowboy on the rodeo circuit following his military service in Korea, but in 1958, his professional life took a sharp turn which ultimately led to a lifelong career in the arts.
His first position in the creative field was working as an ad man for an advertising agency in Kansas. While he enjoyed the opportunity to explore his creativity, the life of a buttoned-down “ad man” was simply too confining for a young man who grew up under open skies.
The art world was exploding in San Francisco in the mid-1960s and that was where he began to hone his skills as a designer/jeweler. From the ’70s to the early 2000s he lived in the Davis, Calif. and Sacramento area, where he was a successful jeweler and gallery owner. He moved once more, from Sacramento to Suisun City, Calif. Having traveled all over the world, it was the small-town attitude of Suisun residents, its natural beauty, its “walkability” and his caring friends and neighbors that made Suisun City the perfect place to end his journey.
As well as teaching and sharing his knowledge of design and jewelry making, Thayne was (at 85) still happily creating exquisite pieces of custom-made jewelry and miniature sculptures. His jewelry is worn by people all around the world and he was proud to have multiple pieces in the permanent collection at the Denver Art Museum.
Thayne was a gifted artist, a humble and gentle man, the father of Sid and Jaxzann Riggs; grandfather of Alaina Riggs of Colorado, and friend to many.
A memorial service will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at 700 Main Street, Suisun City, Calif.