Dr. Jack Riggs

In 1934, James Elbert Riggs, Sr. – son of Riley James Riggs and Bernice (Collier) Riggs of Sheridan, WY (granddaughter of Civil War veteran Landy Walker) – traveled by car from Montana to Coeur d’Alene. James Elbert had a twin brother killed in WWI, Riley Delbert Riggs. Bernice Collier’s mother was Mary (Walker) Dalton, related to the infamous Dalton gang. James and Bernice Riggs came to the Coeur d’Alene area with their children Robert, Eileen, and Frank (born October 26, 1927 in Choteau, MT). The family was relocating during the Great Depression, looking for opportunity and a better life. As they crossed Lookout Pass driving west on two-lane Hwy 10, Bernice said she was done traveling and would not go any further than Coeur d‘Alene. At that time, there was significant mining and logging in the area, and James Riggs, Sr. worked as a carpenter. Their first family home was in Hayden, where two additional children, James, Jr. and Gerald, were born. The children attended public school at the Hayden School on old Hwy 95 and Hayden Ave.

On December 8, 1945, Frank Riggs married Joanne Sande of Coeur d’Alene. They had four children, all delivered by Dr. E.R.W. Fox at Lake City General Hospital on Lakeside Ave in Coeur d’Alene – Ron (April 10, 1949), Kathleen, (October 16, 1951), Jack (October 1, 1954) and Sandra (March 10, 1963). Frank worked for Kaiser Aluminum – Trentwood from 1946 until retirement in 1983. He also owned and operated a Conoco gas station at 4th and Best in Coeur d’Alene from 1966 to 1969. Frank and Joanne built eight houses in the Coeur d’Alene area.

Frank Riggs 1945
Frank Riggs in uniform 1946

The family lived at various houses, including 838 N. 5th Street, Dalton Gardens, 1023 N. 5th St, 1112 N. 11th St, and then back to Dalton Gardens. Both Frank and Joanne passed away in 1996, only eight weeks apart, shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary. Ron, his wife Sandy, and three children – Tracy, Brandy and Aaron; Kathy and her son Bert; and Sandee all still live in the Coeur d’Alene area.

In 1975, Jack married Rachel Caughran and they had three children, Shannon Kay (June 28, 1977), Peter John (August 17, 1979), and Jennifer Joanne (October 29, 1981). Jack attended the University of Idaho and University of Washington School of Medicine. After serving in the Air Force as an Emergency Room Director, he returned to Coeur d’Alene and opened North Idaho Immediate Care Center in 1986. He then entered the Idaho State Senate in 1996 and became the 38th Lieutenant Governor of Idaho in 2001, serving until 2003.

Shannon, Peter and Jennifer all attended the University of Idaho and graduated with Honors. Shannon married Paul Erwin in December 1997. They reside in downtown Coeur d’Alene and have two children – Ella Kay (July 20, 2000) and Tate Alexander (July 22, 2002). In 2003, Jack returned from Boise to Coeur d’Alene and created a medical partnership for his growing medical practice. Once again single, he and his children led the acquisition of Pita Pit Inc. in 2005, bringing the Headquarters of Pita Pit USA, Inc. to Coeur d’Alene.

Robert, Eileen, Frank, James and Gerald at Spirit Lake
Joanne Sande Riggs and Frank Riggs - 1946
Frank Riggs and Joanne Sande Riggs family photo - 1964
Frank Riggs and Joanne Sande Riggs family photo - 1967