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Robert "Bob" Rigney '53 September 30, 2021 3:44 PM updated: September 30, 2021 4:26 PM

Robert Emory Rigney
November 28, 1931 - September 27, 2021

Robert Emory Rigney passed away peacefully on September 27, 2021. He was a native Texan and son of Emory Elmo Rigney and Thelma Routh Rigney.

Bob was born on November 28, 1931, in Harlingen, Texas. The family soon moved to San Antonio where Bob graduated from Alamo Heights High School. He followed in his father’s footsteps to Texas A & M University, majoring first in Architecture, then in Pre-Med.

Upon graduation, Bob joined the Air Force where he was trained as a fighter pilot and became skilled flying the newest delta-wing model of the day, the F-102 fighter. He was then assigned to the 68th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Japan where he taught other pilots about the new airplane.

It was there his Wing Commander convinced him to apply to the diplomatic service, and in 1964, after language and intelligence training, Bob was posted to Indonesia as the Air Force Attaché to the U. S. Ambassador. He arrived in Indonesia just in time for the military coup resulting in the expulsion of then-president Sukarno and soon to be-president Suharto.

Bob’s other numerous adventures ranged from conducting stealth flights over Cuba to count Russian missile sites, to taking part in an expedition to count Komodo Dragons in Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands. There he was able to plant The Explorers Club flag, an organization of which he was a member.

After his military service, Bob’s entrepreneurial spirit led him into the oil industry where he partnered with Valero and Kerr-McGee Corporation to successfully explore for oil in China’s Bohai Bay. He took his interest from this venture and formed Pendaries Petroleum LLC which he later merged with Ultra Petroleum.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his previous wife Nancy O’Connor Rigney and his step-daughter Kelly O’Connor McGivern.

Bob is survived by his dear wife, Frances Hearn Rigney and his two sons, Robert E. Rigney, Jr (Liz) of Houston and Milton Spencer Rigney (Sissy) of San Antonio.

Also surviving Bob are stepsons Kevin Smith O’Connor (Susan) of Toronto, step son-in-law Bill McGivern of Madison Wisconsin and stepsons Trip Worden (Jerry) and Bryan Worden (Marianne) both of San Antonio. Bob is also survived by numerous grandchildren (including Aggies Sara '05, Meredith '07, and Nathan '06 and great children.

Bob Rigney was one of a kind and made friends all over the world during his 89 years on earth. The family would like to thank Zona Ross and Krystal Franklin with Cardinal Senior Care for their efforts over the past few months. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 7th at Christ Episcopal Church, 510 Belknap Pl., in San Antonio at 10:00 am. Burial with full military honors will be the following week at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio on Wednesday, October 13th at 9:15 am. In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to the charitable organization of your choice.

© Porter Loring Mortuaries

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