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James Riggi, retired pipefitter, veteran March 27, 1906 -- Sept. 22, 2005

NIAGARA FALLS -- James Riggi, a World War II veteran and retired pipefitter, died Thursday in Northgate Manor Health Care Facility, Wheatfield, after a lengthy illness. He was 99.

Mr. Riggi was born in Florence, Pa., but moved to Niagara Falls as a child and attended city schools.

Mr. Riggi was a sergeant in the Army during World War II, serving in the Philippines.

During the 1930s, Mr. Riggi was a deliveryman for FroJoy Ice Cream Corp. Later he was employed for 19 years as a pipefitter at Prestolite Corp. He retired in 1969.

His family said Mr. Riggi was a jack of all trades, with the ability to fix anything. He built the first and second houses that he and his wife and children lived in, and a third house for his parents.

Mr. Riggi and his wife enjoyed traveling and visited all 50 states and several foreign countries. He also enjoyed deep sea fishing off the Florida Keys.

After his retirement, he became an accomplished golfer and scored a hole-in-one in the summer of 1975 at Hyde Park Golf Course.

His wife of 63 years, the former Margaret Bevacqua, died in 2001.

He is survived by two daughters, Mary Jane of Cincinnati and Susan Ventresca of Wheatfield; a sister, Grace Filicetti of Lewiston; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 2499 Independence Ave., with prayers at 8:45 in Spallino-Amigone Funeral Home, 1300 Pine Ave. Entombment will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery.


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