Submitted by his Family
Leonard Riggins‚ Sr.
St. Louis Fire Department – Missouri
Date of Death: November 5‚ 2008
Leonard Riggins Sr. was born on October 16‚ 1956 to John and Hattie Riggins. He was stolen from his family who loved him more than words can explain‚ he was stolen from his church who he inspired each time he spoke and he was stolen from the fire department doing what he loved to do helping others. Leonard was proud to say he was a St. Louis City Firefighter.
Leonard was a man with morals and high standards and believed there was some good in every human being no matter how hopeless one’s situation may be. Leonard character was a hero. Leonard often shared with others how he had wanted to be a firefighter ever since he was a little boy‚ but his life took him on many different journeys due to life’s twist and turns.
Leonard was educated in the St. Louis public schools and after graduating from High School he enrolled in Junior College taking liberal arts courses for City Parks and Recreation. It was not long before he was promoted to Park Supervisor. By then Leonard was married (Darnita Riggins) with two sons (Antwan and Leonard Jr.) and living his life with God being the head of his life. Leonard gave his life to Christ June 1987 and was married in 1989. Leonard had not given up on becoming a firefighter because he missed the cut off age but always said anything was possible with God and he was right because in 1993 the age limit was lifted and Leonard became a St. Louis City firefighter‚ one of the happiest days in his life.
Leonard wore many hats‚ to some of the firefighters he was ‘The Godfather’. He got that name because he was a friend to many‚ a confidant‚ a counselor and to all a minister whenever they had a problem that they could not solve.
Leonard was a complete package to his wife; he was a husband‚ lover‚ and friend and father to her sons and her very best friend.
Leonard loved helping people. He was an entrepreneur and had his own Home Health Care he started ten years ago‚ serving over two hundred clients and presently employed over thirty five employees.
Leonard loved going gospel skating and watching his youngest son (Leonard Jr.) skate and doing floor tricks. He also loved watching his only grandson skate and spend all ‘Papa’s’ quarters on videogames. He loved traveling with his wife seeing parts of the world he never seen‚ especially cruises. His last cruise was 2 weeks prior to his death‚ this particular cruise was special to him because him and his youngest son shared there birthdays together (Leonard Jr. October 13th‚ Leonard Sr. October 16th). Leonard loved working in his yard; he often said that gave him peace.
Leonard was a family man; he loved family gatherings showing off his cooking abilities that he had acquired over the years from his mother in-law and fellow firefighters. Leonard loved young people‚ inspiring them to reach for the mountaintop and giving them hope. He loved to hangout with his sons‚ nephews‚ playing basketball and inviting them over to the house to watch the basketball game‚ cooking his famous cupcakes‚ relaxing‚ and cracking jokes with kids‚ and reminding them how funny looking they all were when they were growing up. Leonard had a soft spot for all his nieces because they always greeted him with bear hugs no matter where he was.
Leonard loved life and loved living. His pride and joy was his wife and teaching Sunday school. Leonard had a swagger about himself‚ he was a man without issues‚ and a man with values‚ but his faith in Jesus Christ was his greatest asset. He often said‚ ‘I am not going to hide my blessings because God is the head of my life’. He showed that with his signature smile known to all. Leonard was attending Bible College and writing a book on marriage. Leonard’s life ended all too soon leaving a family with a broken chain‚ with life never being the same.
For those who did not know him‚ he will be forgotten or have already been forgotten. Many family and friends lives were forced to go on. For my sons and me‚ our lives have changed forever with pain being buried so deep and the thought of living our lives without him seems unimaginable. Only words left to say is help us Oh Mighty God!!!