joan riggs
Joan “Babe” (Cimino) Riggs, a former music educator for the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, died Saturday, October 17, 2020, at her home in Conway, SC. Joan was born on June 24, 1929, in Clarksburg, WV. She grew up in Weirton, WV, and attended St Paul's Elementary School. Joan graduated from Steubenville Catholic Central, where she graduated in the top one percent of her class and was the editor of her school newspaper. She received her Master’s degree in Music from Duquesne University. Joan’s life centered around music. Starting in the sixth grade and continuing through high school she played the organ at 6am daily mass at St Paul’s Catholic Church in Weirton. She sang and directed multiple choirs throughout the Tri-State area, performed in numerous festivals, lectured at music conventions, taught workshops for Choral Techniques for Sweet Adeline’s, and was a panelist at the Mid Atlantic National Music Therapy Convention. She volunteered her time with music sororities, alumni choral groups, Serra Manor Nursing Home in Weirton, and St James Catholic Church in Conway, SC. She was the organist at the Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Natrona Heights, PA for over 15 years. Most of all, she will be remembered for a beautiful career in teaching music in Pittsburgh at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind from 1955 until 1990. In her free time, she enjoyed gardening, decoupage, refinishing furniture and crafts, caring for her Shih Tzu dogs and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Her friends and family will always remember her for her kind spirit and fun-loving personality. She loved to be in the company of her friends and family. In addition to her parents, Joan was preceded in death by her husband, William Riggs, her brother, Frank Cimino, and her sister, Mary Frances Varner. “Aunt Babe” will be remembered with love by her sister, Jeanne Sargent; her stepdaughter, Nancy (Ron) Harvey and her step-grandchildren, Scott and Kim, and their children; her fifteen nieces and nephews and her caregivers Maxine and Clara. Private family visitation will be held at the Greco Hertnick Funeral Home 3219 Main Street Weirton, WV. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated will follow at Saint Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church, Weirton, WV. Interment will follow at Saint Paul's Cemetery. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Western Pennsylvania School of the Blind 201 N. Bellfield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Share tributes at

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  1. “Babe was the best”!! It was a joy and an honor giving babe the care that she needed. She never complained even if she was not satisfied with the way you did things for her. Just being around her I could tell she was so good to the people in her life, as well as my-self. she was considerate, and she was caring. When she gave it was easy to see that it came straight from her heart…. and it gave everyone around that gift of a nicer world to live in.. Joan I miss you already.. Much love to you and the family from Maxine…

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